Las Vegas Trip Report – June 8 – 18, 2014 Hotel – Golden Nugget – Fremont Street Travelling to Vegas this time with a good buddy (A). We have been to Vegas many times, usually once a year since 1982. Flights: WestJet out of Edmonton (YEG) direct to Vegas. Getting through US customs, security was extremely easy on a Sunday afternoon, as it appears to be only one flight leaving our terminal around that time of the afternoon. It was very quiet, and no line ups at all. Bought a couple over-priced pints at the airport lounge and before we knew it, it was time to board. Arrived at Terminal 3. Bags were on carousal shortly after getting to them, and then hoofed all the way to the other side of the terminal to catch the shuttle to the Car Rental Terminal. Alamo line was very short so it took no time at all to be heading off to the lot to pick up our Chevy Impala. Decided to head downtown to Fremont Street via the strip, as we wanted to start feeling the excitement and vibe by seeing all the people / lights on the strip. It actually wasn’t too busy, and didn’t take too long before we were pulling into GN Valet near the Carson tower. Check-in was a breeze, and the desk-person was very pleasant. I asked if there was any chance of them tossing in a coupon-book with the check-in, and she said no problem. She printed off a couple sheets of coupons, instead of handing out a book. She indicated they’ve started doing this method of issuing out the coupons fairly recently. The coupons had my name on each of them, and still included coupons for a couple 2 for 1 breakfast/lunch buffets, a $10.00 match play, and discounts at the Grotto, Chart House, and the Asian Restaurants, as well as a few others. Room was on Floor 9, quiet, and not too far from the elevator. Unloaded bags in room, and decided to head out to Chicago Brewing Pub in the 4 Queens for a couple pints and appetizers. Ordered some Hot Wings and Onion rings which were actually quite tasty. Went out onto Fremont for a walk and gander, and wasn’t disappointed at all with the ‘people watching’ aspect which Fremont Street provides. We checked at a few different casino Cashier cages what the Canadian $ exchange rates were like, and found that The D had the best rate going. Early in the week we were able to get .8925 US to the Canadian $1.00, and by Thursday, they were up to .8975. Other casinos, whether on Fremont, on strip, or other off-strip ones, were typically between .85 and .87. Monday, June 9 – Decided to leave the car parked, and just stick to the Fremont area. Went to Magnolias for breakfast. I know a lot of people suggest DuPars for Pancakes, but I honestly feel Magnolias @ 4 Queens do a great job on these as well. I ordered up a short stack with a side of bacon, and was thoroughly happy with the meal. Very filling and tasty. (A) was very happy with his American Breakfast of Eggs/Bacon/hash browns as well. We then headed up to the El Cortez for a visit. Last year we found $3.00 Blackjack tables plentiful, but not so much this year. I asked one of the dealers if we were just not seeing them, or what the case was. She indicated that they ‘occasionally’ open them up once or twice during the week, and on weekends. Guess Monday wasn’t one of those week-days. So, we putzed around on slots a while, some VP and Keno. Mid-afternoon we decided to try the Benny’s Burger special which includes a ½ pound burger, potato chips, and a beer for $5.00. Pretty good meal for a good value. We then headed out into the afternoon heat, and headed towards the Grand. Liked the look of the Grand, but music was a bit loud. Hit a few slots here, before heading back towards Fremont Street. Tuesday – breakfast at the GN buffet using one of the 2for1 coupons. It was ok for what we paid. Grabbed the car and headed towards the Strip. Parked in the parkade behind Miracle Mile shops at PH, headed out to the strip. Decided to head up towards the Quad, to take a peek at the Linq, and that area. We hadn’t been to that particular area of the strip for a few years. Walked through Quad and found renovations still going on inside, then back through Margaretville Casino, Flamingo, and onto the Cromwell. I really liked the look of the new Cromwell. Very friendly staff. Cocktail waitresses came by regularly, one lady coming by with an iPad ordering the drinks, and then another young lady coming by with your order. I will definitely be back for another visit. Then we headed on back to PH for a bit, before we grabbed the car and decided it was time for some BBQ. After reading Royal Flusher’s review on the Rolling Smoke BBQ, I said..OK…that’s a MUST DO on our upcoming trip. So, not really wanting to trust RF’s map in his review, I got some directions off of google, and we easily found it not too far from the Fashion Show Mall area. We got there about 5:30pm, walked in, and saw quite a number of people chowing down. We were able to pretty walk up to the podium to place our order. I said to the gentleman at the podium, “Hi…are you Chester Briquettes’???? He ‘blinked’ at me… and then started laughing… and said…”No… I’m one of the owners…but I think I know who you’re talking about…but he’s away on Maneuvers currently”. I said… ‘Oh… ok.. no worries.. I just wanted to pass on a Hello from Royal Flusher”… He started laughing again… and said.. OH… I read that Review… and it was great. So, that got our BBQ experience off to a great start. (A) and I weren’t overly hungry at this point so decided to split one of the 4-meat combos between us. So glad we opted for that, as there was a lot of food. We doubled up on the Pork ribs, had the Brisket and the pulled Pork. Sides included the onion straws, baked-potato salad, and the Jalapeno Slaw. Everything was very tasty. We thoroughly enjoyed our meal here. After dinner, headed back to the GN, parked, and just moseyed around Fremont again. Wednesday – picked up the car and decided to head out to Sunset Station for the breakfast buffet there. We were quite impressed with the breakfast buffet for $5.99. You can easily pay for more than that just for a coffee and juice elsewhere. Typical breakfast items but everything quite tasty. They were starting to bring out the lunch items around 11:00am so we got to sample one or 2 of those items as well. Played on a few slots for a bit, and then headed off to the South Outlet Mall for a bit. Had to hit the Hagger Store to see what we could find. After that, decided to Southpoint for a bit. Had a wander through here before heading back downtown. Stopped off at a Wal-Mart first to pick up some ‘Dove Dark Chocolates’ for the wife though. It’s a thank you Dear…for letting me out to play. Back to the GN to drop off packages, and then headed back to Magnolia’s for their Prime Rib Special. We thoroughly enjoyed this meal which included Soup or Salad, and a good cut of Prime Rib, veggies (Green Beans), and choice of potato. The horseradish is ‘slap the back of your HEAD’ strong!!!!! Headed out onto Fremont Street just in time to see 'The Who' light-show. Loved it! Great choice of songs. I know it's probably been playing for some time, but it was the first time I saw it. Thursday – last full day. Decided to leave the car parked again, and just enjoy Fremont area. GN Buffet for breakfast to use up the 2nd coupon. Then hit the craps table at GN to use the $10.00 match play. That came through as the shooter hit his 9. Decided to walk up to the El Cortez again. Few slots there, and then saw that the Craps table was at a $3.00 min. So decided to have a go at that buying in for $40.00. Well, almost 2 hours later, after tipping for numerous drinks being brought by, and having fun at a loud and funny table, I walked away only $30.00 down. I call that a WIN many times over. We then headed down to the other end of Fremont to see what the Plaza looked like. Signed up for a new Players Card which got us an entry to play for 5 minutes on one of their Slot Tournament machines to try and get one of the daily high scores. That was to no avail. We also got a coupon for a free slice of POP Up pizza. That was quite good, and will go back for another when the pizza urge hits again. Played a few more slots before heading out o Main Street Station. We were thirsty at this point, and happy hour was still going on in the 777 Brewpub. So, ordered a couple of pints, some wings, California Rolls, and a basket of Onion Rings…and there’s supper. Very good, and at happy hour prices, very reasonable. (A) and I have always liked the ‘Feel’ of MSS, so decided to go ask Front-Desk staff if we could see what the rooms were like. A bell-hop took us up to an unused room for us to look at. I’m sure we’ll be giving MSS a try as a home base next year. Clean, bright rooms. We then decided to have our once-a-year attempt at the Mega-bucks machine but alas, have to report we’ll have to try again next year. Putzed around for another couple hours on slots before we headed back to the GN to pack up things for our departure next morning. Friday – checked out and grabbed car from Valet. Headed out to Black Bear Diner on Tropicana. Fantastic breakfast offerings at this restaurant. I had the country-fried steak (with TU-Gravely), and (A) had a Denver omelet, and we were both very satisfied with our meals. Service was excellent. This is becoming a yearly tradition as we have been here 3-4 times during the past years. We still had just over an hour to kill before returning the car back to the centre, and heading to the airport to check-in, so we decided to stop off at Orleans since it was nearby. Putzed on the slots for a while, and then headed off to drop car off, and catch the shuttle to airport. Flight home was uneventful, and left Vegas about 1:30pm, and got home to YEG about 5:30pm. Wife picked us up and was happy with the ‘Dove Chocolate’ offerings. Hope you enjoyed the Trip Report.