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Trip report, Downtown 10-13 Jan.

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by VegasVince, Jan 20, 2011.

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  1. VegasVince

    VegasVince Tourist

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    My Trip Report

    Trip report; Las Vegas. 9 – 13 January, 2011

    Here is my attempt at a trip report. But before I start, let me say that this web site was
    very helpful in helping us plan and enjoy the trip. I joined this group just a few days before leaving but still gained enough information of places and things to do in that
    time so that we were better prepared to enjoy our stay there.

    Sunday 9 Jan.

    The original plan had us leaving on Monday and driving straight to the Golden Nugget.
    That was changed by something I read here. That was “Go see The New Bridge†To
    accommodate that, we elected to leave Sunday afternoon and stay at Buffalo Bill’s at
    Prim. NV. We would then drive to Vegas via Hover Dam and the bridge on Monday.

    The drive to Buffalo Bill’s was via I 15 from the LA area and was with no problems.
    The one thing interesting was the Southbound traffic from Vegas. LOT’S and LOT’S
    of it. Most likely people returning from the CES –(Consumer Electronics Show).

    After checking in and getting a room on the 14th floor overlooking the now congested
    freeway for only $29, we went down to try our luck on the machines. I had learned here
    about those new penny (HA) machines here but was not expecting the number of
    them on the floor. Again – Penny HA – You could, with no problem, spend $5 + on
    one spin. The casino was almost empty at 5 PM. We decided to take their tram to
    their other casino, The Primm Valley, This casino is a step up from Buffalo Bill’s
    and was about 40% occupied. The machines were “loser†too. We did the Buffet while
    there and all I can say is stay away from the fried chicken. It kept me up half the night.
    The wife had no trouble with what she ate and it was $25 for the two of us. At about 10
    PM we called it quits after losing 50 – 60 bucks and went back to the room for the night.

    Monday 10 Jan.

    We left Buffalo Bills about 10 AM after a breakfast at the Denny’s located there and
    drove over to the dam. We crossed the canyon on the new bridge expecting to get a
    view of the dam from there. NO LUCK. They have an eight foot high solid fence on
    both edges. The reason I found out later was that it was there to keep the drivers looking
    at the road instead of slowing down and gawking.. You have to take the old road to see
    the dam and the bridge. It is BIG. One other thing noticed was the large number of tourists
    there. It was hard to find any parking places around. Not expected on a Monday morning.

    The next stop was the Hacienda Casino about 10 miles west on 93. Maybe there was 8 -10 cars in the casino parking lot. The only reason they are still open is because of people like me that will spend 10 bucks WITH OUT any returns – not even cherries

    What happens next is because of some very important things I learned here. First was to
    Get a Landry’s Select Club card if you are staying at the Golden Nugget. Second is to
    Sign up for VIP service. If you have the card it’s free if not it’s $25 but still worth it.

    When we arrived at the GN –Golden Nugget - , the valet asked for our last name and
    instantly knew who we were and what tower we were staying in. He directed us to the
    VIP , Oak paneled check-in room next to the entrance where we were treated as if we
    were rich or something. While checking in I remembered one more thing that I
    learned here; Freebees and other enticements that can be had. The clerk must have had an oversupply of them because I ended up with two books and about a half a dozen
    coupons that could be used at the establishment. We ended up with a room in the gold
    tower overlooking the pool. (Never did see anybody in it because the whole time we
    were there the temperature only got up to 50F – 35F at night).

    After unpacking it was getting hungry time so we went over to the Golden Gate for the
    famous shrimp cocktail. It has been a ritual for years to go there any time we are near.
    This was the only casino that the penny machines have not taken over. But whatever
    machines they have don’t pay at all. The two shrimp cocktails cost about 40 bucks.

    We then did the grand tour of the Fremont casinos first being the VC - Vegas Club –
    just across from the GG. First and lasting impression “Slow and Old†The next to
    visit was BC – (Binion’s.Casino) It was the only casino that we exited with more money then we went in with. They also love penny machines there. There was one the wife liked that was
    a takeoff on a space rocket. The seat in front of the machine had a high headrest and
    fantastic visuals. The wife sat there for about two hours and still came out ahead with
    60 bucks. While she was doing the space thing I was doing a triple 7 slot which
    gave me 70 bucks more than I put in. Needless to say we went back later on the trip
    and gave back the money.

    The FC – (Fremont Casino) was next on our tour. Impression; Much better than the VC
    or GC but not as good as the BC Lots of penny slots but tighter than BC. We left there
    early to watch the 6 PM Fremont Experience. I have seen it many times before but it
    still excites me like the kid I was 70+ years ago to watch it.

    Because it was time to eat, we stopped the tour until the next day. The first of the
    freebee’s was used at the GN buffet. 2 for the price of one equaled dinner for two for
    18 bucks. Also did not have to wait in line because of the VIP status. We stayed at
    the GN for the evening and called it quits about 10 PM.

    NEXT CHAPTER IN SEVERAL DAYS. I have other things on the "TO DO" list
    but will continue at the first chance I get.

    Vince
     
  2. Hardware

    Hardware Newbie

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    good stuff so far, thanks!
     
  3. techie223

    techie223 High-Roller

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    Looking forward to the next installment :)

    Can you explain about the VIP service at GN?
     
  4. JoeLansing

    JoeLansing Tourist

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    I called GN to confirm my reservation a couple weeks ago. I'm arriving late and they said they couldn't guarantee my room choice unless I got VIP so I did. It gives you a fast fancy check in, no wait at the buffet line. I'm not sure what else. I'm going to try the Landrys book for a free room upgrade. I only got a Carson Tower room. I'm arriving at about 7:00pm and I'll hope the Rush Tower rooms are sold out so my free upgrade will be to a Spa Tower suite for 4 nights :) Worth a try right?
    - Joe
     
  5. frank5465

    frank5465 Tourist

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    Great report my wife and i both paid the $25 for Landry Club she got extra $25 in her acct (Jan Birthday) and took our kids to Rainforest Cafe in CT, we reserved 2 rooms with 2 different reservations and will get 2 Free upgrades upon our check in :evillaugh i really would like more info on old road for Hoover Dam so we can take pics as we didnt wish to the tour
     
  6. richardinbc

    richardinbc Low-Roller

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    road to hoover dam

    Hi Frank, it is not had to find the right road. Coming from Las Vegas when you pass the Hacienda Casino keep you eyes open for signage to the dam. There is a parking lot where you can park and walk up stairs and be on the bridge. Further down the road are good spots to take pictures and parking so you can take a tour or walk on the dam.

    Have fun and enjoy your visit.
     
  7. VegasVince

    VegasVince Tourist

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    Trip report Downtown 10-13 Jan. Part two.

    Here are the second days activities of the trip. Enjoy

    Tuesday, 11 Jan.

    Prior to the wife waking up, I went down to the casino about 6:30 that morning to see if my luck had changed overnight. No luck. 10 bucks in 10 minutes. I figured that I would
    go back to BC where my luck seemed to be better. I found the triple 7 machine and gave back the money I won from it the day before. It was time to wake up the wife and have some breakfast.

    Two buffet breakfasts for 10 bucks – good food, great sausages- and we were ready to continue our tour. But before the tour the wife wanted to see the sharks up close so we went over to the Rush tower area to see if we could see them up close. You have to go out by the pool and with it being only 40F out there, we didn’t stay long. The wife noticed the aquarium behind the reception desk and was fascinated with the fish. She decided that she wanted to eat at the Chart House that night at one of the four tables located right next to the tank wall. I called the reservation desk but it was still closed. I then went down to the VIP lounge and asked the clerk if it could be arranged for 6:30 PM after the street show. She said that if she had any problems, she would leave a voice mail.

    As we were walking away from the fish tank the wife saw a slot machine that had fishes as it’s theme. You get paid for the fish you catch. Bigger fish = more “credits†( remember that word) when I walked up to her, she had 600 credits. I said that she was doing great and she replied that 6 bucks was not great. I then showed her that her credits were worth 25 cents each because of the multiplier that she had bought. Her retort was why didn’t I tell her that when she had 1500 credits. She then said that she was NOT going to play any machine that she did not understand. That vow did not last very long.

    We then continued our tour of the Fremont casinos by going to the 4Q –(4 Queens). The rabbit slot machine there was where the vow gave up.Impression: Just a bit better than the VC. The machines were looser also. We did not spend too much time there because of the tremendous smell of smoke.

    The Next on the list was the Fitz – (Fitzgeralds). Not bad. Slots were nice to us but again the smoke was noticeable. ( I think that we enjoyed the GN and BC more because of the absence of the smoke smell in their establishments.) After about an hour we decided to go back to the Fremont where we ended the day before. I had a cash ticket that I had from the day before and wanted to use it up. No such luck. I found a “Texas Oil†machine that just kept gushering. At about + 30 we stopped to get something tom eat and
    decided to walk back to the GG for more shrimp. We didn’t make it. I saw the 99 cent hotdog sign at the Mermaid Casino and decided to try that.

    Walking into the Mermaid is like entering a time machine and exiting in 1965. REAL SLOTS !! The ones that pay real coins. Real coin dropping noise. Some of the people sitting in front of those machines look as if they had been there since 1965. We worked our way through the really large crowd to the back of the room where the hotdogs were being sold. It was a stand-up style area with three or four tables and a line by the cooking area. We got in line and noticed that along with the 99 cent hotdog, there was the $1.99
    hotdog which the wife ordered while I stayed with the 99 cent one. For the extra buck they put everything but the kitchen sink on the dog. Messy but good she says. She goes to the restroom to wash the remains away and comes back saying that it too hasn’t been cleaned since 1965. Great ambiance but make sure your shots are up to date.

    Back to the GN we went so that the wife could go to the room and finish cleaning up from the hotdog feast. I stayed down in the casino and played a progressive “penny†slot When the wife got back from the room my initial $10 investment was now 30 and growing. Several hours later when she returned to tell me it’s about time to get ready For dinner, my investment is worth 20 and holding. That machine must like me and I tell it “I shall returnâ€

    I have not heard anything negative about our reservation at the Chart House so after watching the Fremont Experience we head over there stopping on the way to feed the hungry slots. Started the walk with $12 and cashed out with about $3.50 on the cash out slip.

    I don’t know if it was because the VIP desk made the reservation – I think it was – but what service !! Fantastic !! Table for two next to the aquarium wall. Landry’s club discount. 10% off for some other reason. I had the Filet and she had the Macadamia crusted Mahi. This was one of the best steaks that I have ever had and I have been to many places. Between eating and watching the fish just inches from you, about two hours passed. When leaving the Chart house I told the wife that I would meet her at the front door to watch the next Fremont Experience. I sat down at the first machine by the North East door to wait for her. I had that $3.50 slip from before dinner and decided to Feed the monster. I slipped in the slip and the 3.50 registered. I played 5 times 4 or Something like that and nothing happened. I see the wife walking towards me so I say To myself lets end this and hit the max play button which is flashing wildly, $177.00
    later we go watch the show. (I really don’t know what I won with.)

    After the show I kept my promise to return. The machine had not left and was waiting.Two hours later –way past my bed time – it still owed me 19 bucks. A nice way to end the day.
     
  8. techie223

    techie223 High-Roller

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    How were you able to resist the deep fried Twinkies and Oreos at the Mermaid :confused2:

    Nice hit on the slot after dinner.
     
  9. Hardware

    Hardware Newbie

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    i never realized the mermaid is an old-fashioned slot joint. i just thought it was a colorful, obnoxious casino with cheap food. perhaps i'll try my luck at a coin-in coin-out machine next month.
     
  10. denluvslv

    denluvslv Low-Roller

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    I'm enjoying the trip report so far. We're driving over the new bridge in June. We have to, we're AZ residents. We always stop at the Hacienda on the way in also. I was surprised (Dec. 2009) when my nickel machine there paid out in coin. We also stayed at the GN and loved it before moving onto MB.
     
  11. VegasVince

    VegasVince Tourist

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    Here is part 3 which is the end of the report.


    Wednesday 12 Jan

    The day starts with me down on the casino floor by 7AM to continue with my promise that “I shall returnâ€. You know that you have spent too much time at one machine when you hear people passing by saying “I saw that OLD man sitting there all last night†I don’t care what they say and continue my romance with this machine as it keeps me thinking that I’m going to win big. I also find a “Bug†or design flaw with the slot. When you hit the spin button twice in quick succession, the reels go out of sync and lock up in a random fashion. I think that I am on to something big and ask the next slot mechanic that I see walking by. He tells me that is a normal reaction of the machine and will not change your odds. In fact he tells me that what symbols will show on the pay line is determined several microseconds after you press the button the first time. Pressing the button the second time interrupts the program that sets the spin sequence which then causes the reels then go to their assigned position in a random style.

    After one more “Two for One†breakfast Buffet, we go back to Binion’s so that the wife can fly the space machine again. Space travel can be expensive. She gave back the $60 plus 20 more. While she is somewhere between the Moon and Mars, I wandered around trying out various machines using my new knowledge of their inner workings. It seems that the older machines do NOT exhibit the double push syndrome and just ignore the second button push. I need to educate myself on this action. The cost of this
    education is rising with each button push so I decide to stop and be fat, dumb and happy.


    We find ourselves at the Fremont at lunch time and the wife says no more buffets. We found the café behind the buffet and had lunch there. Great Mushroom Cheeseburger. The wife had some kind of salad and the bill was only $12.00. Several hours pass and I hear the “I shall return†machine calling so we walk back to the GN.

    Someone else is sitting at MY machine. –AND WINNING-. I figure that all is lost but at the last moment some lady yells at him and he takes off like a scared cat. I’m BACK.Three hours later and with the wife wanting to eat, I say good by to my machine while $30 ahead.

    We ate at the Carson Street Café and using coupons worth10 bucks plus free desert the total was $18.00 Not the quality of the Chart House but it wasn’t a buffet.

    The rest of the evening was spent at the casino but not at MY machine. Someone else was there all night .


    Thursday 13 Jan.
    I was down by my machine by 7AM but the machine must have been mad at me for not playing last night. Take, Take, Take is all it did. By the time the time I figured that I was no longer loved, $50.00 had been lost. Time to go home.

    Again the VIP service was worth the money while checking out. Quick and easy. The bell had our car out front with all bags aboard ready to go. The only way to fly.

    We should have flown because of the traffic encountered on the way home. Those of you that know the I-15 route will understand what I am saying. Someone at Cal Trans decided to fix the South bound lanes and closed four of the five lanes just before the 138 intersection at 9AM without consulting with the highway patrol. Result – The traffic came to a halt 5 miles NORTH of Victorville It took a little over two hours to get through that mess..

    That’s the end of the report. I hope it was of some interest and will help someone in planning a trip. I would recommend the Golden Nugget with no reservations.

    Vince Wirth
     
  12. Hardware

    Hardware Newbie

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    thanks for sharing.
     
  13. Seven_OUT

    Seven_OUT Tourist

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    Good stuff

    While my vegas trips differ greatly from you and your wifes, it was a refreshing read, and glad you had fun at the slot machines
     
  14. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

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    Glad you enjoyed your time downtown!
     
  15. Tammy58

    Tammy58 Frugal Slot Jockey

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    Enjoyed your report! Glad to find someone else who is not a penny fan. The strip has been over run with them also, this year skipping many of our old haunts due to the penny and nickel explosion.
     
  16. Jade88

    Jade88 High-Roller

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    Great report. Glad to find another person who loves the GN and their fish tank as much as i do.
     
  17. LaRae

    LaRae Low-Roller

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    Thanks for posting, Vince. Your love/hate affair with "your" machine made me chuckle... Sounds like you & your wife had lot of fun.
     
  18. VegasVince

    VegasVince Tourist

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    Epilogue:

    I would like to thank those persons who took time to comment on my report. It was much appreciated to know that my report was of some benefit and interest to you guys. It was also evident that you want to help each other when you can. Examples;

    JoeLansing answering techie223’s question about VIP service at the Golden Nugget.

    richardinbc telling frank5465 how to find the road to get to the dam.

    Let me answer several questions that were asked.

    Techie223 asked why I didn’t have a fried Twinkie. The grease looked like it had been used since 1965. The real reason is that I’m diabetic and stay away from that stuff.

    Hardware remarked about the Mermaid and how he is going there to try the slots, Bring your own soap to clean your hands afterwards. ( after years and years of people washing the Silver and Nickel dust from their hands, I would think that all the sewer pipes downtown are plated with the stuff.)

    doctor al, the reason I like downtown is that you don’t have to walk miles and miles to go from casino A to casino B. I’m too old for that type of activity. I like things that are close together like on cruise ships. They even have casinos. Look at my web page to see what I mean; http://webpages.charter.net/vincewirth/

    I’m with you Tammy about the “penny†machines. Remember the old three reel with cherries, watermelons and bars. No “Triple pay “ and other stuff that warps the brain.

    Jade88, the wife says that the aquarium is now on her “Must Do†list whenever we go back.

    Thanks again to all.
    Vince
     
  19. TuneinTokyo

    TuneinTokyo High-Roller

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    Great report. I might plan a dinner near the tank. It sounds amazing.
     
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