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TFK's Superbowl 2011 Trip

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by TFK, Feb 10, 2011.

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  1. TFK

    TFK High-Roller

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    My Trip Report

    My trip started off with the longest check in line I had ever seen at Newark Airport. There was a line to get on the escalator that took you to the area where you were supposed to get in line to get checked through security. There were a lot of angry people who couldn’t find where the back of the line was, and people who were worried about missing their flight, myself included. It was an unorganized clusterfuck.

    Because we had to stand in line about an hour longer than expected, we didn’t have time to stop and eat like we normally do when we fly, so I hit the bathroom and planned on getting a paper, some water and some snacks before boarding. But then received a call from my friend who was told they were closing to doors and I needed to get on the plane immediately. So I skipped the store and took my seat. Of course, the doors didn’t close for another 25 minutes, and when the plane finally was ready to leave, we were delayed again because the plane had to be de-iced.

    After taking off more than an hour later, I was upset because I didn’t have a newspaper to keep me occupied, the plane didn’t have DirecTV, and the in flight movie was some kids cartoon movie. Then I realized I had left without my DVD’s, so it was the kids movie or nothing. It was a bad start, about to get worse, as since I didn’t get a chance to eat, I was starving, and when the food server got to us, they were out of breakfast sandwiches and had nothing but boxes of snacks like wheat crackers and dried fruits. Not quite the meal I was hoping for.

    The long boring flight was uneventful, and an hour after we were supposed to, we landed in Vegas. Getting our bags and getting to the rental car place was painless, and as always, first stop was In N Out for a much needed Double Double. We made it downtown where I checked into the Fitz, and my friend the Nugget. Upon check in, I was told that even though my rooms were comped, I was not given the invite to the Superbowl party, which shocked the hell out of me because I had been an invited guest to the Superbowl parties for probably 10 years or so now.

    I went to speak to a host to see what happened, and was told my play wasn’t good enough to get the invite. Now admittedly, when I was out in November, I didn’t play close to my normal play, but that was because I was here for a wedding and had a ton of other things to do besides gamble. But when I asked about my play last Superbowl, I was told I had gambled a total of 6 hours over 4 days, which is just about the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. I told the host that that clearly had to be a mistake as I probably banged out more than 6 hours my first day in, and had 2 blackjack all nighters. I asked her to look at my play history going back as far as they can, and they’ll see 6 hours just doesn’t compute. I was told to gamble as much as possible, then return Sunday morning before the game, and they would look at my play again and see if I had enough to qualify. At this point, I was too tired from the early morning flight and just wanted to get to my room and shower, so I just said ‘whatever’ and went to my room.

    But instead of playing as much as I could at Fitzgeralds, I didn’t play a single penny there this trip, and I am done with them. I have had other complaints over the years from lack of communication to the influx of horrible blackjack games, and this was the final straw.
    So after showering and changing, I met up with my friend and we went to the Golden Gate and played for a few hours. I lost a little on blackjack and Let it Ride, but made some of it back playing 3 card. We then took a walk down to the El Cortez where I hit on a horse and checked the lines for the game. After a few hours of play, we went back to our rooms to rest up for a bit, then we headed down to Batista’s for dinner. Food and drink were excellent as usual, and we left full and completely satisfied.

    We drove back downtown then decided to walk over to the Gold Spike. We went to the Spike last year and had a blast with the dealers and the Pit Boss, who we tried to convince to send a dealer to In N Out for us. When we got there this year, the Pit Boss was the same guy, Peter, and he actually remembered us from the previous year. Came to find out he’s more than the Pitboss, and pretty much runs the gambling aspect of the place. Real nice guy, and the dealers were a lot of fun. We had another fun night playing blackjack for several hours, before stopping back at the Gate to play for another 30-40 minutes before lack of sleep and way too many beers caught up with me and we called it a night.

    Woke up the next morning, showered and went to Dupar’s for breakfast. While our food was excellent, they screwed up my friend’s order twice, so the service was pretty bad. We headed back to the Spike and played a bunch more blackjack, and the boss this time was Tiffany, another very fun lady. Had another great time, and had been given a bunch of tickets for their Saturday night drawing. We then hit the 777 for some of their kickass food, made it back to our rooms to shower then cabbed down to Blondies to watch the UFC. After what was a very pedestrian fight card, we cabbed it back to the Spike just in time for the drawing, but neither of us won.

    We were playing blackjack at the Spike, having a blast and got to talking to Peter, who was back in the pit, and he asked us where we were watching the game. We told him we didn’t know since the Fitz plan fell through, so he immediately gave us wristbands for the Spike ‘party’, which was basically just some free bar food. But we figured we would come. Then after playing a little more and just having an awesome time, he asked if we were coming back next year for the game, and we said of course. He then offered us comped rooms for next years Superbowl weekend….and not just that, but the best rooms they have. He then took us upstairs to check the suites out. To be honest, we were blown away. We never would’ve expected the Gold Spike to have rooms like these. One had a pool table, the other had a stripper pole, they all had huge decks with tables, chairs, etc. Way nicer than the Fitz and even the room my friend was staying in at the Nugget. He then said if we were bringing more people with us, he’d comp them standard rooms, and brought us down to check out the pool and to show us what the standard rooms look like. He gave us his card, and we are 100% staying at the Spike next year, and maybe earlier.

    After playing a little more, we called it a ‘for us’ early night, as we knew Sunday was gonna be a long day.

    Woke up Sunday and headed to the Peppermill. We made a reservation and it was a good thing we did, as the line was out the door. I went to check in while my friend parked the car. As I bypassed the line to tell the lady we had reservations, some guy yelled out “He’s a CUTTER!†like he was 6 years old. I couldn’t help laughing my ass off as the host explained that we had reservations. I just found it funny a grown man sounding like a hurt child.

    Breakfast at the Peppermill was awesome as usual, and we went back to the rooms to rest up for game time. After placing my bets at the 4 Queens…better odds and much less of a line than the Nugget, we walked over to the Spike, grabbed a seat at the blackjack table, and watched the game and played BJ hands during the commercials. The food was decent, mini taco’s, wings, dogs, stuff like that. But the difference was I was drinking Blue Moons and playing blackjack during the game, having a blast, while if I was at the Fitz I’d probably be drinking Miller Lite or some other crappy beer and not being able to gamble. So in the end, things worked out for the best.

    Long story short, I took a beating on the game. I’m not a Steeler fan but I thought they would do much better than they did. I also dropped about $200 playing blackjack after the game. So as the night at the Spike winded down, we took a walk down to the Western for some more blackjack and laughs. I ended up winning $400 back, which didn’t suck, before the tables closed for the night at the Western. Decided it was a good time to call it a night and headed back to my room at the Fitz.

    Woke up in the morning, packed up and headed to the Golden Gate, where I was spending the final night of my trip. I had always wanted to stay at the Gate, and finally decided to do it. I asked for and received a room overlooking Fremont. The room was very nice, but very tiny. I mean VERY tiny. I played a little bit downstairs before meeting up with my friend and driving down to the Hufbrauhaus for lunch\breakfast. The food and beer at the Hufbrau is excellent, but way overpriced. After eating, we went back to our rooms to rest, and recover from what has been a long weekend of way too much beer and unhealthy food. Napped for a few hours, then met up with my friend, and we went back to the Spike for a little more blackjack.

    After playing for an hour or so, and leaving $100 up, we had reservations at Hugo’s Cellar and we had our annual final night of the trip dinner, which was out of this world. Hugo’s never fails to satisfy. After dinner, we staggered back to the Spike in a Meat Coma, and played some more, had a ton of laughs with the dealers, Peter, who wasn’t working but just hanging out, and Danielle, who was a dealer but was working as the boss that night.

    The tables closed at 1:00, but we asked Peter if they would keep one open longer. He said if a dealer was okay with it, he would. Being as we were extremely generous with the dealers, one, Taylor, jumped at the opportunity. I ended up dropping about 200, but my friend did very well. 2:00 rolled around and they closed the table, so me, my friend, Peter and Taylor went over to the bar to have a few drinks.

    We thanked them for giving us one of the funnest trips we have had in years, appreciated the personal service, the laughs, Peter sharing his Girl Scout Cookies with us, etc, and called it a night. We walked back to our rooms, and were surprised how much the temperature dropped and how windy it had gotten. We contemplated going to the El for a little more gambling, but it was already after 3:00, so we decided against it.

    Woke up, showered, returned the car and got on the plane, and I am typing this on the plane to pass the time. No DirecTV on this flight either, and even worse, the sound doesn’t work for anyone. So nobody is able to watch the movie…some chick flick with Harrison Ford as a news guy of some sort.

    Just to follow up, I want to repeat how much we enjoyed the Spike. It is nothing at all like it used to be. It is very nice, the employees are friendly, it’s nice walking into a place and having everyone know your name, know what kind of beer you want without having to be told, etc. Peter was talking about more changes coming to the place, including 24 hour table games, TITO slots…he says the Hand Pay is killing their slot business…some new games including a Dealer Bust side bet blackjack game and a Roulette game using letters.

    He said the Spike still gets a bad rep because a lot of internet sites like Tripadvisor still have reviews from when the place was a dump, and it hurts business because people think it is still that way, when it’s nothing like the way it was. But if he keeps doing what he’s doing, making it friendly with an eye on service, the Spike is in for better days. To Peter and his staff, the bosses Tiffany and Danielle, the dealers Taylor, Tiffany, Molony, Shea, Sandy, Iliana, the girl with the Marilyn Monroe tat who’s name I forget, and the drink girls, Rochelle and Hayley (not her real name but we called her that because she came around once every 84 years like Hayley’s Comet…but it was her first weekend so we gave her a break.), thanks for a great weekend, and I can’t wait to come back.


    TFK
     
  2. Thor

    Thor Beer Drinker

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    awesome read and great news about the spike! i've only been in there once, but i want to go again now. i hope you will send a kind note about your service to the boss of the spike. they obviously want our business and will make sure they EARN it!!! awesome to hear!!! :beer::beer::beer:
     
  3. sammowhammo

    sammowhammo VIP Whale

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    That was a great TR - I have to admit I have an bias, like you said, based on things I have read on TA - Did you post a review of the Spike? You should, it sounds like you had a blast.

    Very persuasive - now I am thinking maybe we should spend some time there on our next trip. Do you think this would be a fun place to learn & play craps?
     
  4. TFK

    TFK High-Roller

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    They don't have a craps table yet, but they are planning on getting one soon.


    TFK
     
  5. frank5465

    frank5465 Tourist

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    TFK did you stay at Spike or just gamble there cause your review and the $21 per nite price has met thinking of booking a Fri and Sat nite stay here please let me know if you stayed here im gonna get 2 rooms and try the $20 trick:evillaugh
     
  6. TFK

    TFK High-Roller

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    I stayed at Fitzgeralds, which has been my home base for about 10 years, but from now on, I'm staying at the Spike. I'm just fed up with the Fitz, and was very impressed by the Spike.

    TFK
     
  7. sulobo

    sulobo Low-Roller

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    The Spike does get bad reviews. It is good to hear something good.
    I know Vegas Rex(Now Seattle Rex) gave them some good reviews after their makeover .
    I don't stay on the strip anymore . Over at South Point for my annual trip. Guess we will have to check out the Fremont for a stay sometime.

    Thanks for the great read.
     
  8. merlin

    merlin VIP Whale

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    I know you liked the spike, but what was the crowd like overall in the casino? Last couple times I've been there, I was either the only one playing blackjack or perhaps there was one other person playing at one of the other tables(2 were running). that combined with the lack of slot players(still can't fathom the "all hand pay" slots) doesn't really give me the vibe.
    Honestly, it was a little depressing - not as bad as the plaza, but close, and I've always liked the spike, even when it was a dump.
     
  9. TFK

    TFK High-Roller

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    Other than during the Superbowl, there weren't a lot of people there, and it was never a problem getting a seat at a table. The tables were never empty, but they were never full either, except for like I said, Superbowl Sunday.

    That's the thing, right now, they don't have a customer base. They have cleared the place of the vagrants and transients that used to frequent the place, but word hasn't really gotten around yet, and many people stay away from the Spike because they think that is still the clientelle.

    What's funny is I was saying while I was there, the Spike used to be by far the smokiest casino I had ever been in, and now, hardly anybody there even smokes, at least at the tables.

    The Spike is in a tough spot due to pre-existing prejudices. People think the area is dangerous, and it isn't. People think it's a run down dump, and it's actually the opposite. People think it's full of crackheads and lunatics and it's not. It's clean, it's friendly, and they damn sure appreciate your business, which is something that is disappearing in Vegas, even downtown.

    The best way to find out is to try it for yourself. Next time you're downtown, take a walk over, sit down at a table and play for a little bit. You'll see how clean the place is, you'll see how friendly it is, and you'll see that it's a really good vibe there. It's tiny, there are only 4 tables at this point, and it's never crowded, but it is still a work in progress.


    TFK
     
  10. Loveland2Vegas

    Loveland2Vegas Tourist

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    TFK- Fantastic TR!! I wish it was closer to July- I cant wait to stay at the Spike. We won $300 on a WOF quarter slot there a couple summers ago. I'm really excited to stay here as we usually stay at the Nugget ourselves. I thought the pool looked pretty nice on their website. I also am going to make sure we get to the Peppermill too- I love that place. Thanks for posting this, it was a fun read. :beer:
     
  11. Jinx

    Jinx VIP Whale

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    Great report and really enjoyed hearing about your treatment at the Spike, just curious what's your average style bet for a trip or day? Just thinking about focusing my play downtown some this trip and looking at some options and I always like positive customer service stories.
     
  12. progrocker2112

    progrocker2112 Low-Roller

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    That's funny. There already seemed to be plenty of dealer bust my last couple of times at the Spike.
     
  13. TFK

    TFK High-Roller

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    I'm normally a $10 a hand blackjack player who bumps up my bets as I go on streaks. My bets were pretty much anywhere from $10 to $50 at the Spike. My buddy was strictly a $5 better and he got the same treatment as me.

    TFK
     
  14. rdwy29

    rdwy29 Low-Roller

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    Sounds like the Spike is really going out of their way to make a positive change in their business. They really sound like a place that would go out of their way to appreciate a medium rolling couple like the wife and I, and as such we will be giving them some business next trip :drunk:.

    Also, great job not givivg the Green Monster any play! Loyalty should be rewarded, esp by a property that is struggling. I understand that while you may have given them only 6 hours of play last trip, how many others have really give them 6 hours of play a trip? I guess beggars can be choosers.
     
  15. PopMegaphone

    PopMegaphone VIP Whale

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    Last Dec I had a great time playing at Spike for the first time. The "sexy dealers" were just okay looking, but they were a lot of fun. I also liked the pit boss who was a former Chicagoan, but I can't remember his name. I was only playing 5 bucks a hand, but tipping well. The casino was much nicer than I was expecting. I will be back.
     
  16. Huddler

    Huddler VIP Whale

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    When I was there last month, several from my group wandered down to the El Co but couldnt find a table and they wouldnt open any more since they didnt have another dealer. So we walked over to the Spike and I am glad that we did. Peter was there and he remembered us from over a year ago. We had been treated rather shabbily there by a pit dyke that is no longer there. Taylor was our dealer and she was alot of fun! Of course, I bet $5 a hand for her so that helps! They are REALLY trying to turn it around. Peter said he would comp us all rooms if we wanted to hold one of our meets there. I think I am going to stay there on my April trip for one night to check it out. The place is small enough that you could basically have your own private casino for a group meet up. I am liking what Peter has done.
     
  17. BackInVegas

    BackInVegas VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the report

    Nice to see a place actually cater to the players and not just treat them as a dollar bill.

    Kudos to the Spike.

    I won't make it this trip as I know my buddies will be partying on the strip for two days, and that means we won't so much as get near to going to downtown.
     
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