1. Welcome to VegasMessageBoard
    It appears you are visiting our community as a guest.
    In order to view full-size images, participate in discussions, vote in polls, etc, you will need to Log in or Register.

Trip Report - July 18th to July 20th, 2005

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by MacMaroon, Aug 15, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. MacMaroon

    MacMaroon Tourist

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    20

    My Trip Report

    This trip to Las Vegas sprung out of the fact that I thought my 70+ year old father should see his sister in California one last time. He was reluctant to do so, but after mentioning that we would be stopping in Las Vegas for three nights before we came home sealed the deal.

    I took both my parents and we first visited Calgary for the world famous Stampede, then we headed down the Columbia River to Portland, and then on to Los Angeles. After spending four nights visiting relatives, we were off to Sin City!

    Monday, July 18th, 2005

    Our first stop was the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino, and my parents began to gamble as soon as we hit the casino floor. It had been seven years since we were last in Las Vegas, and found the machines to be quite different. For one thing, to our surprise, there were a lot of multi-denominational machines where you could play for as low as a penny. Second, I sadly noted that the machines printed out tickets instead of spilling out coins. I like hearing the coins fall down, but I realized the tickets kept our hands from getting dirty. Anyway, my parents had fun playing for pennies on the machines, while I walked around the casino trying to take it all in. After a while, my parents got tired, so we took the tram over to the Luxor.

    It was a bit difficult to find the tram, but after asking several staff members, they pointed us in the right direction. There weren’t many seats in the Tram, but a few nice people made sure my parents were able to sit down, which I thanked them. When we arrived at the Luxor, the exit led us outside in the blazing heat, which was quite unbearable to us Crazy Canucks from the Great White North.

    We entered the Luxor and it was as I remembered it! It was amazing to see the hotel rooms hang off the sides of the pyramid structure. While I was marveling at all the statues, my parents were heading for the slot machines. We didn’t play here too long, but my mother found a pretty good machine called Bandita. She played that for quite a while before the casino took her money. Instead of going outside in the heat and taking the tram to the Excalibur, we decided to take the moving walkways. It took a little longer, but it was much cooler.

    The Excalibur Casino was huge inside, and my parents quickly found machines and started playing. I decided to take a look around and ended up across the street at the Tropicana and got a free spin on their slot machine, which I didn’t win anything. They gave me a bunch of coupons and I had to walk across almost the whole length of the casino to join their slot club and get a free deck of cards. Whoopee! After my impressive gift, I trekked all the way back to Excalibur, and found my parents. They had won quite a bit of money playing on the penny slots! I think it was the Enchanted Forest or Robin Hood machine, but they ended up with over $30, which for a penny machine is very good! I cashed them out and we went upstairs to the Food Court for some supper. We all had Quizno’s Subs, which we had never had before. They were actually quite good and I would eat there again.

    After eating, we headed back to Mandalay Bay to get the car and drive downtown. Thanks to members of this board, we took Frank Sinatra and then Industrial, instead of The Strip. This was a whole lot quicker, and we were parking at the Golden Nugget garage in minutes.

    We checked in and after some minor problems, we headed to the casino downstairs, where my parents quickly disappeared. I headed to the players club booth to join and get my free $10 in slot play, which did not last long on their tight machines. I then headed out the door to my favourite casino on my last visit, the Fitzgerald and broke even after about an hour playing Cash Inferno. I came back to the Nugget where my parents had an unsuccessful night at the machines.

    If you are interested, you can view the photos I took of the South Strip area by clicking on the following link:
    http://www.worldisround.com/articles/203242/index.html

    I have also written a review about the Golden Nugget, which you can find by clicking on the following link:
    http://las-vegas-hotels.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g45963-d91828-r3743158-Golden_Nugget-Las_Vegas_Nevada.html

    Tuesday, July 19th, 2005

    As recommended by everyone on this message board, we headed out to the Main Street Station for their breakfast buffet. While we each loved the atmosphere in the Buffet room, we found the food was not as good as everyone said.

    After our disappointing meal, the question became where would we gamble today? I made numerous suggestions as to where we could go, and while my father was indifferent, my mother decided that Circus Circus would be a good place to go… After a few hours of not winning, we got bored and I suggested we take a short walk over to Slots-A-Fun. We each received a fun book upon exiting Circus Circus, and one of the coupons was for two free pulls on a slot machine. While my father and I did not win, my mother won $1.75! Whoopee! They quickly headed for some machines and I decided to look around the place. It was quite packed, but it did not have any machines that I liked, so I left out the front door.

    I looked across the street and a sign intrigued me….Penny Town, so I headed across the busy Las Vegas Boulevard for the Riviera. As I entered, I looked around and noticed quite a few low denomination machines, so I thought this was the place for me. I immediately joined their slot club, and was given $10 in free slot play. The Golden Nugget did the same thing and that didn’t last long, so I wasn’t expecting much play with it. Well, I played and I played and I played, and I still had the free $10 they gave me. I thought I had better go get my parents and bring them over, as they probably would enjoy this. It was not hard to find them at Slots-A-Fun as they were trying to flag one of the attendants so they could cash out. They don’t spit out tickets like the other casinos, so if you don’t like a machine, you have to wait for someone to cash you out, even if it is only ten cents (or whatever). That kind of sucked, so my parents were very happy to hear about Penny Town...

    After signing them up in the Riviera Slot Club, they were off like bandits ready to play with their free cash! When joining their club, they gave me a wooden token good for a free drink at Hound Doggies and a coupon to enter a prize draw, which I did. After playing a while on the penny Wheel of Fortune machines, they announced that they would be having their prize draw. They announced the number, and I could not believe that I was the winner! I won two tickets to see the nude review Splash, after paying a small administration fee. Not exactly winning, but nonetheless I won just the same! After finding my parents to tell them the news, I decided to leave the Riviera and go for a walk down The Strip.

    I went into the Westward Ho, Stardust, and New Frontier casinos, but I passed on the new Wynn Las Vegas, as I don’t think I would have fit in there (hehehe)! I also checked out the souvenir shops and got some pretty good stuff for co-workers (please see my other post). I returned to the Riviera only to find Elvis singing in the lobby! I thought he was dead, but I guess the tabloids were right after all! I ended up finding my parents, and they were still playing on the money the casino gave them. In fact, my mother was $30 ahead, and my father was $20 ahead. After a while, they cashed out and we headed to Hound Doggies for something to eat. Everything on the menu was 99 cents, and they had quite a selection! We each had a hot dog and a drink, and were serenaded by Elvis, who was wandering around Penny Town while we were eating.

    After our meal, I dragged them over for the free slot pull, and while we each got a free mug, my father also won a keychain! Whoopee! After that, my parents wanted to continue gambling at the Riviera, so we stayed a little while longer before heading back to downtown to our hotel room.

    When we got downtown, my father wanted to continue gambling, but I was able to convince my mother to see the Fremont Street Experience. We had never seen it before, so we didn’t know what to expect. We saw Speed, Smoke, and Spinning Wheels, which was pretty good. After it was over, we headed to our room for the night. My father came in shortly after saying he had won a few dollars at the machines.

    If you are interested, you can view the photos I took of the North Strip area by clicking on the following link:
    http://www.worldisround.com/articles/203271/index.html

    Also, you can view the photos I took of the Fremont Street Experience by clicking on the following link:
    http://www.worldisround.com/articles/203062/index.html

    Continued....
     
  2. MacMaroon

    MacMaroon Tourist

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    20
    ....Continued

    Wednesday, July 20th, 2005

    I had to get up early to take my car into the local Saturn dealership to get an oil change. When I returned, my parents and I were planning on having the buffet breakfast downstairs in the Golden Nugget. Unfortunately, the lineup was quite long, so we ended up eating at the Fremont buffet instead. It was rather dark at the buffet, but the food was quite good, certainly better than what we had at the Main Street Station. After our meal, I decided to stay at the Fremont and gamble. I joined the slot club and played a little bit before leaving.

    After walking out, I decided to give the Lady Luck a try. It was almost seven years since I was there, and it certainly has changed. I remember having my picture taken at a special slot machine, as well as getting a huge fun book with tons of half decent coupons. Times must be tough… When I joined their slot club, they still had my account on file! After giving me a new card, I was able to get a free slot pull and won a breakfast buffet comp! Not bad! I then took a look around the casino and noticed they did not have printable tickets and cash payouts were by an attendant. I didn’t like that, so I left and headed to the Gold Spike.

    The Gold Spike was just as I remembered, still dark and gloomy with lots of interesting characters. I headed straight for the penny video poker and played for about half an hour on the nine pennies I found in my pocket. After losing, I started playing with the nickels I found in my pocket, but that went fast. I then played the eight quarters I had, which I parlayed into $11.75 when I finally cashed out. I felt like a high roller playing quarters here, and was happy to leave a winner.

    Next, I headed to the El Cortez, my Aunt and Uncle’s favourite place to gamble before they discovered Laughlin. On my last visit in 1998, the casino was so dark and smoky, and I had never seen so many slots machines in such a small area. To my surprise, the casino looked totally different. Things were much brighter and roomier than my last visit, and I felt very comfortable gambling here. I played about $20 in pennies and an hour or so later, I had lost it all and headed back to Fremont Street.

    After stopping at the Fitz and the Four Queens, I ended up back at the Fremont and found an interesting poker slot machine, where you pick the hand you want, and pull the handle to get the other cards. It was a penny machine, and cost twenty coins to play the full hand. I was doing great, I won and I won and I won! Then I realized, I wasn’t playing pennies but nickels, and I was even happier! I racked up the slot club points, and after about an hour and a half, I had broke even! Can’t complain about that! I finally got bored, so I cashed out and left.

    After checking out the souvenir shops again, I tried the Horseshoe, with little or no success. I tried to find the million dollars I had my picture taken with the last time I visited, but they must have spent it all when they took down their sign out front.

    I then walked over to the (Las) Vegas Club and got their slot card. I was asked if I wanted to enter their daily slot tournament, and I agreed. I was given a choice of only one of eight machines to play and I had five minutes to accumulate as many points as I could. After hitting the button continuously for what seemed like an eternity, I ended up not gambling there as I had my fill! I think I ended up in last place, by the way…

    I walked across the street to The Plaza and tried to use the card I got from the (Las) Vegas Club, but it did not work. I had to rejoin and was given the exact same card? Isn’t modern technology great? I sat down at a penny machine and was given a talking to by one lady who thought it was her personal property. I told her that she wasn’t playing it, so I was. I could hear curses and language under her breath you would only think a sailor would use. Then I won one of the higher payouts, and all hell broke loose. She called me things I never thought anyone would! It’s only pennies for heaven’s sake! Anyway, I played a bit more then I got the hell out of there. Obviously, I need to freshen up on my gambling etiquette!

    I headed over to the Main Street Station, where I lost $10, and then over to the California, and lost a handful of nickels to video poker machines. I ended up heading back to the Fremont and played that poker slot machine again, and again I ended up breaking even. I left only to return later in the evening to finally lose my initial $10 at that machine. After that, I went back to the hotel room and got things ready for my family’s early morning getaway back to Canada.

    If you are interested, you can view the photos I took of the downtown area by clicking on the following link:
    http://www.worldisround.com/articles/203196/index.html

    Overall, this was the most enjoyable time we had in Las Vegas. While we didn’t come away winners, we got value for our gambling dollar, and that’s what matters. We are looking forward to out next trip as I am already planning for it!
     
  3. Jack21

    Jack21 Guest

    Thanks for the post, Mac- enjoyed the read. You mentioned quite a few casinos I've yet to explore.
     
  4. Thekiller

    Thekiller Tourist

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Messages:
    409
    Location:
    OKC
    Thanks for the report Mac.
    We stayed at the Nugget about a week before you did and were pleased with the accommodations as well. We had about the same luck in their casino too. I hope my kids drag me to Vegas when I'm 70+.
     
  5. theking0075

    theking0075 Tourist

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2005
    Messages:
    423
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    9
    So did you get to see "Splash"?
     
  6. Saskatoon

    Saskatoon Tourist

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2005
    Messages:
    178
    Hey Mac,

    Are there any casinos with slots that actually pay out coins instead of tickets?

    Just curious.
     
  7. writes4me

    writes4me Tourist

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Messages:
    22
    Great Trip Report

    Really loved your report. You sound like our kind of gambler (a guppie amongst the whales). I still laugh when I think of the penny machines (not that I don't play them, I do) but the joke was that they invented the penny machines for the nickle players to have someone to look down their nose on.

    I'm going to go to some of the places you talked about, many of them I've not tried and some, like you, I haven't been to in a while. I like the smaller places. I saw a program recently on people's preference on gambling places and learned that a lot of people prefer a more cozy, dive-like atmosphere when they gamble as opposed to the huge open spaces. I do wish they'd do something about the smoking though. Man, I hate sitting there with smoke so thick you can't see straight. I always take a shower right when I get back to my room and spray my clothes with lysol to help get rid of the smell...like rolling in an ashtray.

    It's great you took your parents. We suggested LV to my in-laws and what a mistake...groan, groan and moan. "We had to walk. We didn't eat cheap enough. We didn't win any money. etc." I'd swear they would complain if you hung them with a new rope. LOL

    Thanks again.

    Writes4me :)
     
  8. MacMaroon

    MacMaroon Tourist

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    20
    Splash, Slot Machines, Smoking, and Parents...

    Thekiller,

    Unfortunately, even though I won two tickets to see Splash, I ended up not going. I took a look at one of the pamphlets for the show and it didn't look interesting. Besides, you had to pay an administration fee for each ticket (so much for winning FREE tickets) and I didn't think either one of my 70+ year old parents would enjoy it (but you never know...).

    Saskatoon,

    I am sorry I was a little vague on the slot machine issue. I wrote about my initial reaction to the slot machines, and not what I found out. While I don't know how each casino has their machines set up, I found that if you inserted dollar bills or the tickets into the slots, you would only be able to print out tickets. I could be wrong, but that's what was happening to me. However, if I put in coins, I won coins, so that didn't change. I also found that not all machines took coins, but they were usually the lower denomination machines (pennies).

    writes4me,

    Yes, the smoke in the Las Vegas casinos can be unbearable to a nonsmoker, I sure found out quickly! I'm from Canada, and find the cigarettes in the U.S. to be much stronger smelling than the ones up north. My throat was very sore during my stay at the casinos, but my mother completely lost her voice because of the smoke. She's okay now, but it took almost a week for it to clear up. I believe there are a few casinos in Laughlin that have smoke-free areas, but I don't know about in Las Vegas.

    Well, they've had to put up with me for all these years, so it was the least I could do (hehehe). Besides, they had so much fun that I'm glad I took them. By the way, they are already wanting me to take them again next year...

    Mac Maroon
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.