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Trip Report-Downtown/Plaza/Vegas TV Show "Tour"

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by 007DAWG, Oct 10, 2012.

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  1. 007DAWG

    007DAWG Tourist

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    My Trip Report

    As usual, thanks again to all the posters on this board. I pick up bits and pieces of Vegas info here that help make these trips just that much better. Background, wife and I (Mid 40's, go to Vegas about 1-2 times a year) celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary! Will post as a reply.....
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012
  2. 007DAWG

    007DAWG Tourist

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    Saturday 10/6/12
    Getting up at 3am for a flight, especially one for a vacation seems a bit crazy, but up we were and off to the airport, shocker, no traffic. Typical flight from SEA to LAS, Alaska airlines does a solid job as usual. Arrival at terminal 3 is great; it’s a very short walk from E-15 to the Rental Car bus. Use the Alamo rental car Kiosk, head out to get our compact and as usual, they are out, so we get the impromptu upgrade to “Mid-size”, a nice black Volkswagen Jetta. Side note, this is the first time I have ever driven a Volkswagen, but I have known many people throughout my life that always swore by this brand of vehicle, they would not own anything else. So, as a car guy I was interested in the experience. Verdict: It was a nice enough car, but I don’t get the obsession.

    Off we go, first thing, supplies. Hit the nearest Albertsons, pick up mostly water and snacks, and we head for downtown. As it is around 9:30a on a Saturday, we decide to drive up the strip as we hadn’t done that in some time, and outside of the bottleneck caused by the construction in front of the Flamingo, it was smooth sailing. Check in at the Plaza was a breeze, as nobody is checking in or out at 10a on a Saturday, and off we go to the South tower.

    I have been in the remodeled Plaza rooms; I like them, not fancy by any stretch, but plenty nice and comfortable. My wife had never been in one, so her reaction was more important than mine. She really liked it, maybe more than I do, so the Plaza room gets more high marks. So, in our room at 10:30a already, it’s time to head to the pool. The 3a wakeup call is now paying serious dividends, it’s as if we flew in the night before and were starting our day from there. It seemed like we had added an extra day to the trip, it was great!

    The Plaza pool area is very basic, plain and kind of boring. However, all we require is sun, a pool that contains water, and a lounge chair and we are plenty happy. Brought our own small cooler in (no problem), but there is a problem, no pool towels. Finally, after about 1.5 hours of just about everybody at the pool calling the hotel operator to bug them, they bring towels. We think the problem was that this was the first weekend that the pool bar was closed, and I am guessing whoever was responsible for opening the pool bar was responsible for the towels as well. So, that sucked a little, but not really a big deal.

    We decide to do a late lunch/early dinner at Hash House a Go Go, my 3rd time, but my wife has never been there. We both get a Hash, I go Meat Loaf, and she goes with the Chorizo. I like Hash house, it’s always somewhere between good and very good, but it’s not an outstanding must do in my book. After Linner, we wander up and down Fremont and wow, it is jam packed, you would have thought it was 11p, not 5p.

    My Huskies are playing the hated Ducks of Oregon, so we decide to hit the Husky Alumni Party at Jackson’s Bar and Grill on West Flamingo. Good party, a nice enough bar (they are the local Green Bay Packer bar as well) but woof, the game is awful. Ouch, let’s just forget that happened and get back to Vegas.

    My wife is a Black Jack player exclusively, and I bounce between Blackjack, Craps and video poker. We are low rollers, $5 tables are our speed, so we knew Saturday night could be a challenge. We start at my favorite place to gamble, the Golden Gate. Both play blackjack, but just not getting on a roll. Plus, they bump the table mins to $10. We need another place to play, and I’m thinking the only place around that may have $5 tables would be the Las Vegas Club. But, last time I wandered in there, all I could think was, “what a trashy dump this place has become.” But what the heck, we will give it a shot, and to my surprise, they have cleaned up their act a bit. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still kind of a dump, but the dancer/dealers are now much more like what you see at the Gate, unlike last time I was there, where the description “trashy” was an understatement. A little more blackjack, and then the 3a wakeup call catches up with us, so we hang it up.

    Sunday 10/7/12
    Sleep in then back to the pool. Hey, we have towels this time! After the pool we get lunch to take back to the room. My wife opts for a Chicken Caesar wrap from the little coffee/pastry place next to the front desk, and I get 2 slices from Pop Up Pizza. She really likes the wrap, and I find the Pop Up Pizza to be good solid pizza. I wouldn’t travel great distances to get me some Pop Up Pizza, but when nearby, and craving Pizza, this will do you just fine.

    Wife takes a nap, I take a wander to watch some Football and play video Poker. Seahawks make my bet pay off and it’s back up to the room to get ready for Casa De Amore. Limo driver calls, gives me a 10 minute warning, and then is right on time at 5p to pick us up. Wife is thrilled and surprised! The ride is nice, and we arrive at CDA. As everybody has noted, it is not a fancy looking joint from the outside, and no, not even from the inside, but it’s perfect for what it is. If you are looking for a 5 star upscale strip style joint, look elsewhere. But if you want cool, old school Italian in a fun and friendly atmosphere, with a free limo ride? I can’t recommend this experience enough. Food is good, service is great. Back to the Plaza, back to the Blackjack tables at the Golden Gate. But, yeah, why isn’t the vibe better? Dealers aren’t as friendly as usual, wife wants to go back to the Vegas Club, so off we go. Have a great time playing Blackjack into the night.

    Monday 10/8/12
    I look out the window and I see what looks to be a special event set up at the plaza pool, it’s clearly going to be closed. Sure would have been nice if they would have given us notice on this, but no big deal, we can just start our afternoon plans early. Now, if you aren’t a “Vegas reality TV show” fan, skip this part. But, we Love Pawn Stars, et al, so we decide to do a mini tour of some of the shows locations (sort of an advance scouting run as well, our kids love these shows as well, so we plan to bring them back in April to go on this TV show run). We had already done Pawn Stars 2 different times, so first stop is American Restoration. We roll up, and they are filming out in front! We watch like slack jawed yokels for something like an hour, there is just something very cool about seeing something filmed like that for TV, I can’t explain it. Rick takes a break, shakes everybody’s hand, and thanks us for coming, takes pictures, just really nice stuff. I get a picture of my Wife, Britley and his dog; we wander around inside a bit, and then head out. Off to Count’s Kustoms, This is a quick little tour, mainly of the Count’s personal car collection and an opportunity to spend money on souvenirs. We did see Scott the shop’s “Project Coordinator”, and could see into the work area of the shop, but nothing too exciting.

    We break for lunch, planned on going to Ping Pang Pong, but my wife just wasn’t into the menu of the dim sum concept, so we did a basic, nothing to write home about lunch at TGIFridays.
    Now it’s off to Acrylic Tank Manufacturing AKA “Tanked”. This is a bit of a drive, but we find it no problem and wander inside. There we find lots of cool fish and Irwin Raymer, Office Manager, also known as "The General", just wandering around saying hi to the people in the shop. We get a picture with him (warning ladies, your picture will include him kissing you on the cheek, that’s just how it works!). We buy a couple of t-shirts for the kids, because we like the show, but they absolutely love it, and the sales guy says he will take the shirts in back and get everybody on the show to autograph them. Everybody is friendly and helpful, if you like this show at all, this will be a kick for you!

    Wife wants a nap, back to the room and I wander out again for some video poker. Make my biggest jackpot win ever, 4 deuces on a deuces wild machine! $250 in one shot! For a low roller, this is big!
    Headed for a show, we have a Groupon for the “V” variety show at the Planet Hollywood Miracle Mile Theater”. I figure the Cabo Wabo Happy hour is perfect for our pre show meal. I was wrong; the happy hour no longer exists, so we decide to hit the Happy Hour at La Salsa Cantina. Good little food specials, $3 Margaritas, it’s just right. Off to the show. It’s not a big production show, but a bunch of good acts, funny, exciting, entertaining. I wouldn’t pay full price for it ($50-60 bucks?), but for the price I see at the ½ price ticket booth almost every time I am there ($30-$40?), it’s worth it.

    Back to the Golden Gate (no dancers at the Vegas Club), Wife hunkers down at the blackjack table, and I bounce between Craps, Blackjack and the Video Poker bar. A couple of very good runs at the Craps table (thanks to the gal who had never played before that we badgered into shooting, and the guy in the, yuck, ducks shirt) guarantees that we will go home winners!

    Sunday 10/9/12
    Not much to tell, sleep in, get a 1 hour late check-out, head to the airport, no problems there at all (however, terminal 3 feels too clean and shiny for your return flight. The old terminals feel more like I feel when departing Vegas, a little dirty and run down!), fly home, great to see the kids again, they love their shirts and can’t wait for our Spring Break visit. And no, you will not see them out on the strip or Fremont at midnight, lots of fun daytime stuff for pre-teen-teen kids in Vegas, but they will not be out and about during Vegas adult time.
     
  3. Tree DA

    Tree DA High-Roller

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    Thanks for sharing.

    Other than GN, I've never had trouble finding $5 tables downtown even on a Saturday night.
     
  4. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    Sounds like you enjoyed yourself. Nice report:thumbsup: You didn't mention, or I missed it? What was the vibe at Plaza casino? Last time there, even with the remodel, I just thought it was dead and not I place I want to gamble.:nono:
     
    Christmas
  5. 007DAWG

    007DAWG Tourist

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    TDA, yeah, it all started out around $5, but by 10p or so they were moving up to $10, at least in the places I looked. Joe, I would say the vibe at the Plaza was improved, but still finding its way, not quite there yet. Pretty busy on Saturday night, but strange, they have that little "party pit" set up, but they weren't using it. They have a ways to go, but I think they will get there.
     
  6. gongoman

    gongoman MIA

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    Thanks for trip report:beer:
     
  7. luvvp

    luvvp Tourist

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    Thanks for posting, I love reading everyone's experience.
     
  8. marcianofan

    marcianofan Low-Roller

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    Tks for the trip report, I've stayed at the plaza my last 4 or 5 trips to Vegas.I like it there, tho it isn't the most exciting casino by any means.I'm with you in that I think/hope they'll get better over time. Does American Restoration sell things that they've restored,like some cool things or do they just sell tourist junk?? Pawn Stars sells many different things and collectibles(way, way over-priced things even by strip standards) but man do they sell a lot of junk also to the tourists like t-shirts,ashtrays,mugs etc...
     
  9. Tree DA

    Tree DA High-Roller

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    Interesting, thanks. Weird they weren't using the party pit. Thats the best reason to go there! Did u go to The Drink? Was the bartender scantily clad? (sorry, u may have mentioned this...been a while sinc8e I read your report)
     
  10. atom

    atom High-Roller

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    Rick's Restoration does have some restored stuff for sale... The same sort of stuff you see on the show - coke/pepsi machines, slot machines, etc. The prices are high, but probably not way out of line for the level of restoration they do. There is also a souvineer shop with the usual t-shirts and mugs and whatnot.
     
  11. vegasyaya

    vegasyaya Tourist

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    Great report, thanks for writing. American Restoration is on our upcoming to do list too. I'm not sure how I have never heard of free limo services to/from casa di amore. Now that is on our list also. Calling tomorrow for reservation.
     
  12. LaRae

    LaRae Low-Roller

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    Very nice trip report. Sounds like you & the wife had a fun time.
     
  13. Terry Benedict

    Terry Benedict VIP Whale

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    Ducks/Dawgs rivalry

    I had a hard time finding $5 tables on a Saturday last February.

    It used to be the Ducks had a rivalry with Washington, but that was when UW was winning the games. Now that Oregon is dominating, UW is just the Next Victim. Hate us all you want, we don't care anymore.

    The only thing Husky about Washington is their women. (I saw that on a t-shirt this week.)
     
  14. 007DAWG

    007DAWG Tourist

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    "Hate us all you want, we don't care anymore."

    They still show the video of "the Pick" before games, and there are guys wandering around in freshly minted "the pick" t-shirts. Yes, you guys are way better than us right now, but don't try to sell me the "we don't care" line, because most of you do.
     
  15. 007DAWG

    007DAWG Tourist

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    I did wander drink for about 10 minutes looking for a decent place to watch the Seahawk game, yes I can confirm that the bar staff was scantily clad.
     
  16. Big Tip

    Big Tip VIP Whale

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    Interesting to hear that The Las Vegas Club girls were comparable to GG's.
    What sort of rules did the Vegas Club blackjack have? 3/2 blackjack? Surrender?
     
  17. 007DAWG

    007DAWG Tourist

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    Big Tip, I didn't notice the "Surrender" option, but the game was 3/2
     
  18. Tree DA

    Tree DA High-Roller

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    This is good news. Thank you.
     
  19. brandi.boots

    brandi.boots Low-Roller

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    Good job on the TR. I love the pOrn stars.....err pawn stars
     
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