LAS VEGAS TRIP REPORT: 9/28/02-10/4/02 This is my first attempt at a Trip Report, so please bear with me. I am going to try to be concise and to the point. I am also going to try to write a report that is informative to the non-veteran visitors to Las Vegas…I don’t think that there’s anything I could describe that the veterans haven’t experienced. In the beginning…this trip was in the planning stages since the beginning of the year…many websites were checked (over 50 Las Vegas websites at last count!!)…mucho information was digested (and most of it forgotten while there!!). I did all the research myself-I booked everything on-line- air, hotel, and car rental were all booked separate. Should you go through a travel agent? Should you book the trip as a package? It is entirely up to you- our situation was such that it made more sense for us to do everything separately. The Trip: A) 6 nights in Las Vegas (9/28/02-10/4/02); B) Southwest Airlines from Manchester,NH- through Kansas City each way ($288/PP) C) Car Rental: Dollar (DESTC Code) ($128.00 For the week) Flights: We were extremely happy with Southwest. Other than a delay in leaving Manchester due to a fuse problem, the flights were fine, and best of all, on time. Observations: 1) We were able to get boarding passes prior to the 90 minutes stated on Southwest’s website. 2) If you get a “checkerboard” boarding pass, you have been randomly selected to be screened further. 3) The snackbox and peanuts and drink service was fine for the flight duration. 4) The Kansas City airport is a pain- if you leave the gate area, you have to come back through security- a pain if you want to leave for food or to use the restrooms. 5) Even if you get your boarding pass 90 minutes prior to flight time at the curbside check-in, you’re still not guaranteed to get an “A” pass- of our four flight segments, we got two “A’s,” one “B,” and one “C.” If you’re a “C,” get in line early- still not bad seating. Car Rental: Dollar (DESTC Code): Got on the shuttle and he didn’t have my name on his list. When we got to the lot, we just went into the office and took care of it….not a major problem. We ended up with a Chevy Cavalier, which was fine for the week. Checking in was a breeze- all handled outside (took less than 5 minutes)….got our receipt printed and took the shuttle to the airport. Hotels: Saturday 9/28+ Sunday 9/29: Fitzgerald’s (Saturday:$65.00; Sunday: $0.00; Won a contest for a free night): The best way to describe Fitzgerald’s is that it’s “OK.” Nothing more, nothing less. We were in Room 1402 with a view of the side of the 4 Queens and the top of the FSE. The casino is not that big, and at no time all weekend was it ever crowded. The $65.00 charged for the Saturday night stay was over-priced. Monday 9/30- Friday 10/4: Treasure Island ($69.00 Per Night): We fell in love with Treasure Island very quickly. I had done lots of research to decide on the hotel we would stay at, and it just seemed right for us. It ended up to be the perfect choice. We checked in early at 11:00AM- asked for a corner room, but only had one on the 4th floor at that time. Our check-in person (Connie from Dallas) made our week- she put us in Room # 23030- overlooks the pool, faces the Mirage, and you can see the Venetian, down the strip to Mandalay Bay, and even the mountains to the west. Thanks Connie! We loved TI- food was good, the people everywhere were very nice, friendly, and extremely helpful. We felt comfortable in the casino, and we now have a relationship established with a great Casino Host. This will be our home for a return trip. Casinos: We liked the casinos at TI, Mirage, Flamingo, Orleans, and Gold Coast. This is so subjective- one person may love a certain casino, while another would dislike it. I would imagine that if you win at a certain casino, that would be your favorite. (One note about the Gold Coast slot club- the points last a lifetime- they do not expire after 12 or 18 months. Also, I got 2500 points added to my account since September was my birthday month). Dining: First of all, let me say that we’re basically non-fussy eaters…we are not usually hard to please. We enjoyed buffets at the Fremont, Orleans, and at the Mirage. We did not care for the buffet at the Gold Coast. We enjoyed breakfast at The Egg And I, and liked the meals at the Terrace CafÃ© at TI. We did not get to most of the places that we wanted to…next trip! Sightseeing: *** Wear Comfortable Shoes!!!*** We did more walking than we have in a long time. It’s funny how close those buildings look! The trip to Hoover Dam is a must- it is amazing what went into building it- quite a site. The memorial at NYNY is special- it brings a tear to your eye. We did not get to anywhere near the number of places that we had hoped to see- the roller coasters, Red Rock Canyon, Stratosphere tower… all planned for the next visit. Gambling: We spent our time on slot machines and video poker. We came home with less money than we left with, but it was well worth it. We were comped meals very generously by our host at Treasure Island…mostly played $.25 slots and video poker. We plan to play some table games the next trip at lower level places such as the Sahara, or even somewhere downtown. Misc. Observations: 1) Bring lots of $1.00 bills- need them everywhere for tips. 2) Wear comfortable shoes if you plan to walk anywhere. 3) Get a slot card wherever you plan to gamble- and use it. 4) Check websites (such as the Las Vegas Advisor site) for 2x,3x,4x nights at the various casinos- this is an easy way to rack up points quickly in your account if you play slots or video poker. 5) On the flight out to Las Vegas, sit on the right side of the plane to get a good view of the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam. I hope this wasn’t too long- I tried to provide info that was pertinent and informative. I also would like to thank everyone on these boards for providing us the valuable information that made our trip so successful- Thanks!