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Trip Report

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by gotavegasjones, Jan 17, 2004.

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  1. gotavegasjones

    gotavegasjones VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Messages:
    2,824
    Location:
    South Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    22

    My Trip Report

    Trip Report for December 25 to 31, 2003

    My wife and I planned this trip last August. A very good deal on air faire at southwest.com prompted our planning. We booked roundtrip non-stop faire SAT to LAS to SAT for $199.00 per ticket on the airline website. I looked for a decent rate on rooms at Barbary Coast, Flamingo, Bally’s, Imperial Palace, Venetian and Bellagio. We usually stay at Stratosphere . This trip we decided to stay mid-strip and not rent a car or use taxi cabs. I ended up booking a room at Imperial Palace for 4 nights Dec. 25-29 at $49.00. a night through tripreservations.com. (During our stay we extended for two nights.) If I had made my initial reservation through Imperial Palace I could have probably cancelled and reserved again for about $34.00 an night. Live and learn! We also bought tickets to see Zumanity at the NY NY online several weeks ahead of our visit at $85.00 each. I typically spend 4-6 hours each week on the world-wide web planning or preparing to go to Vegas. I visit several of the message boards many times each week. I just love to think about going to Vegas and reading other peoples planning and trip reports. I got a Vegas Jones! Since 2001 we have been to Vegas once each year during the month of June. Our stay is usually 3-5 days. We like the Strat and they regularly send us offers for free nights and really cheap rates on the weekends. But since we wanted to stay mid-strip I passed on the free nights at the Strat.

    I was a little wary of the Imperial Palace. Reports from the boys at cheapovegas.com, trip reports on this site, discussion on several boards all helped me establish low expectations for all aspects of the Imperial Palace. The reports are accurate in some cases. The rooms do need to be updated. Some of the banks of elevators are SLOW! There is a long wait at check-in. On the upside the room was actually comfortable. We enjoyed having a balcony. We found room service to be excellent. Staff was courteous, prompt. Food was prepared well, tasted great and reasonably priced. I didn’t find the casino a creepy place. It is not my favorite, but it is one I will play again next trip. My wife had good luck on some slots. I didn’t. Why do I ever play slots anyway? I did well at the BJ tables after an ugly start. Probably put in 20 hrs at the BJ tables there over the course of our stay.

    Thursday, December 25
    Airport security at check-in was fine. Airport in San Antonio was not crowded. Flight left SAT and arrived LAS on time (8:35pm local). Baggage claim was easy. Out the doors to LVL shuttle stand. Two tickets for the shuttle to the strip set me back $8.50. Trip over to the Imperial Palace was quick with one stop at the Flamingo. It was cold and raining. I didn’t think too much about it until the shuttle driver attempted to enter the IP from off of Koval Lane and could not enter the parking garage area because a river of water was running through the ground floor of the IP garage. Delayed our arrival at the front door only a few minutes. Check-in took a good 30 minutes and there just were not that many people in line. Finally got to the room and another couple had just arrived there too? The room hadn’t been cleaned since the last folks checked out. Used a house phone to call the desk. I went back to the desk and was upgraded to a Luv Tub Suite on the 9th floor. No complaining, didn’t ask for anything they just gave us the upgrade. This was a decent room. From the balcony we had a great view of the flood, which was increasing in size by the minute. We quickly unpacked. Plans were made to visit the dining plaza on the 5th floor before any play in the casino.

    We left the room. I forgot a strategy card. The key card would not open the door. After several phone calls from a house phone and a 35 minute delay a security person let us back into the room. We had to go to the front desk again and have new key cards made. By this time the eateries on the 5th floor were closing. We settled on a snack at Betty’s Diner not far from the casino. We finally get to the casino at least two and a half hours after arriving. I throw some money away on a WOF slot. After prowling the tables for a few minutes I settle into a BJ table with good rules and $10 minimum bet. I play for an hour or so and lose my $60 buy in. I walk away rather than chasing my losses. Find my wife and she is having fun at a Stampede slot. After a bit we go back to the room take a long hot soak in the big tub and are asleep by 2:00am. This has to be the earliest we ever have been asleep on our first night in Vegas.

    Friday, December 26

    I always wake up early in Vegas regardless of what time I go to bed. I sleep until about 6:30am Friday morning. My wife sleeps better and longer than I do in Vegas. I have promised not to wake her too early on this trip. So I spend some time in the water closet reading. She wakes up and we order room service. Our breakfast is great. We lounge for a bit, watch the receding flood from the balcony, take showers in the Luv Tub and head for the casino mid-morning. I spend 28 minutes at a $10 minimum BJ table and lose $200. I wasn’t even betting very big. I was attempting to play Basic Strategy and had my a** kicked. Buying another $100. in chips when I was on a losing streak probably wasn’t the brightest thing I’ve ever done. I find my wife and she is hitting some small wins on .25 WOF machines she had scouted the night before. I tell my sad story and that I may never gamble again. Within 3 minutes I pop a $100 bill in a $1 WOF and lose it in about 20 minutes. I may have had three spins in that time. Between last night and this morning I’ve lost over $450.00. I’m a bit stunned. I’m a low roller. I almost always budget myself to $100.00 a day for gambling. So being down over $450.00 in less than 18 hours in Vegas has me a little shaky. I decide to play some .25 9/6 JOB drink a couple of beers and do it all more slowly. Early in the afternoon we head down the strip. We spent time at the Flamingo. I won $50.00 playing VP (Double Bonus I think). I like the feel of the Flamingo. We stopped in at the Barbary Coast. We spend time here just about every time we’ve been to Vegas. I want to stay there on some future trip. But, for some reason I never actually play at BC. My wife walks up to one of the roulette tables and puts a $20 bill on black. Black comes up. She does it again and black comes up. She does it again and the number is red. She cashes out up $40 in about 7 minutes of gambling. It was fun. We head on down the strip to Paris for a walk through. We really like this place and played there a bit hoping for some room offers by mail. We then spend a good bit of time at Aladdin. It is a cheesy place but we always have a good time there. We both knocked around losing money in $20.00 increments at several different slots and VP machines. We decide we’re hungry and go to the P.F. Changs, which is adjacent to the casino floor. We had a very fine meal for less than $35.00 excluding tip. My wife had some well prepared pan seared scallops and I had kung pow chicken. The dumplings we had to start if off were awesome. After our early supper (it was about 3:45pm when we sat down at Changs) she watched me put the $50 I’d won at Flamingo into a $1 WOF. After a few pulls I get a spin and $40.00. I play it down a bit. Then I get double bars across for a little jackpot. I play it down for a bit and cash out up $160.00. I’m feeling a little better after the debauchery of this morning.

    We scoot back to IP, get a short nap and dress for an evening at the Bellagio. Actually, I slept real hard for about 2 hours. My wife wakes me and I think I’ve slept through the night. It is only about 8:30pm. We head over to Bellagio.

    It was cold. We saw a great water show, but it was too cold to stand and wait 15 minutes for a second one. The Bellagio is wonderfully decorated for the Holidays. The Conservatory was just spectacular. It is all decked out as a beautiful winter wonderland. Big, snow covered, pine trees. An aspen bridge over a frozen stream. Grand topiary elk and moose and other creatures dotted the landscape. If it wasn’t so crowded I could have stayed and gawked for hours. The lighted wreath decorations as you came in and out were amazing. We spent some time low rolling in the casino. I play .25 VP and drink two Makers Mark on the rocks. They serve good drinks at this joint. Sometime around 10:30pm we’re hungry again and step into Snacks. We have a pleasant time while we share a baked potato with the works and a BLT prepared on sourdough bread. Good stuff and huge portions. We both were well satisfied and spent about $15.00. We caught part of a water show while heading back to Imperial Palace.

    Back at IP I settle into a no-smoking BJ table with $5 minimum. I play for at least two hours. They change the minimum to $10.00 a hand and I’m allowed to play at $5.00 if I choose. Upset one of the later arrivals at the table ‘cause they were not allowed to play $5.00 bets. Pit boss explained that anyone playing before the minimum change could choose to keep play at that rate. Most of my bets were ten dollar or larger but after a few losses I’d play at five for a few hands. My wife is playing several of her slots. She is beginning to rack up some serious points on our players card account. She finds me at the table, watches for a bit and we decide it is time for bed. I color up with a black chip and several green. I was up $160.00 for the session.

    We take a long bath in the Luv Tub and are asleep before 2:00am. The tub is not fancy. It is just a tub though we did enjoy our long soaks.

    Saturday, December 27

    We order room service again. And, again the breakfast is good. Room service was great for us during our stay at IP. We lounge in the room for a long time this morning. We don’t get to the casino until after 11:00am. She plays the slots. I play BJ. Around 2:30pm we head back to the room to rest and get dressed for the evening. We plan on walking down to NY NY to see Zumanity at 7:30pm. Outside of Tropicana, Luxor and Mandalay Bay, we’ve never spent a lot of time in the joints on the south end of the strip. So, our plan is to take our time walking and checking out some of the sites along the way. We wander through the new version of Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville (part of the Flamingo). It is a cool place. We intend to spend some time here later in the trip, but actually don’t.
    The sun is beginning to set and the temperature is going down fast. We paid attention to the Vegas weather forecast before we left SA. I’m really glad we packed coats and gloves. The wind was whipping around a bit and it was cold. We walked past NY NY to check out Excalibur. It looks interesting from the outside. We made one pass through and are fairly certain we won’t do so again. If it wasn’t so cold we might have headed over to Tropicana or MGM but decided against that walk.

    We slipped into NY NY with what felt 10,000 other people. My wife bought a bottle of water and I a hot pretzel. We sat and people gazed for a bit. We then looked for the theatre. We wandered around. I liked the design of the place. It was so crowded that neither of us felt like we got a good look. We stopped at a place in the food court area – Broadway Burger, I think. It sucked. My wife had a burger. I had a rib sandwich. Both were in the $5-$6 range and not worth half that amount. We then went to the theatre and were the second people in line. Very polite staff ushered us to our seats when the doors opened a few minutes later. We were in the balcony in Love Seats. The seats were not bad. They were not good either. The love seats are on the side. There is a railing right in front of those seats. Good for leaning forward on, but not good for leaning back ‘cause the railing was in my line of sight. Knowing this ahead of time I would have opted for seats in the balcony or lower level situated more center stage. The side seating is not bad. It appeared that every seat in this theatre had a good view of the stage. At certain times in the show there is stuff happening at several locations on the stage, so center stage might allow a better view of all the action.

    Now, our take on the Zumanity production. We came with high expectations. Last summer we saw Blue Man Group at the Luxor and thought it was an awesome show. We debated on which Cirque du Soleil to see. We have not seen any of their Vegas shows to this point. We both were intrigued by some of the positive and reactive buzz Zumanity was receiving in the press and on the message boards. For us, the best part of the show occurred before the show on stage began. The twin sisters whom offer their delights to the crowd before the show were wonderful. We both enjoyed the show. We were not awed. I didn’t care much for the persona portrayed by the master of ceremonies. As I said, our expectations were high. The show was bawdy and somewhat risqué. But, this show was not as edgy or bawdy or erotic as some had reported. Nothing offended or shocked us. The dance, acrobatics, comedy and music were all very good. We are glad we went, but would not see it again. The highlight of the show is with out doubt the scene with two beautiful women playing in a water filled glass. This act was riveting, incredibly athletic and sensual. This one act by itself comes close to making the price of admission worthwhile. If you like Cirque you will enjoy this show. We look forward to attending other cirque shows on future visits to Vegas.

    We leave NY NY after the show and stopped in at Monte Carlo, Boardwalk and catch a water show as we head back up to IP. Monte Carlo is a joint we will visit again. Nice place we might consider staying in if the price is right. Boardwalk seemed like a fun place. It was hoppin’ early on a Saturday. We didn’t play any, just looked around. Another place where I’d spend some time gambling in the future. When we get to the Flamingo we stop at Java Coast, which opens right out onto the Strip, and have some hot chocolate and share a croissant.

    The casino at the IP is loud and jumpin’. The Legends pit is overflowing. The Champagne Pit is packed. The roulette tables and craps tables are rowdy. The wife finds her lucky slots and I settle into a no smoking Black Jack table. I play for 2 ½ hours and color up $200.00 ahead for the session. I no longer feel as depressed about Friday morning’s losses. About 2:00am we head for the room, soak in the tub and hit the rack.

    Sunday, December 28

    We sleep in Sunday morning. Start the day with room service for coffee. Our plan was to catch a shuttle from Barbary Coast out to Orleans for Sunday Brunch. The shuttle we caught took us to Gold Coast but didn’t go to Orleans from there. We hung out a bit waiting for a second shuttle which supposedly would deposit us at Orleans. We decided to check out the GC buffet and decided to have their brunch. The GC brunch was good. We had a nice meal. We enjoyed the lox and bagel! We filled up well for less than $20.00. We then headed back to the strip via shuttle. Next up was a bus ride to the north end of the Strip. We purchased 24 hour bus passes for $5.00 each. First stop was the Stratosphere. My wife’s lucky slot near the craps tables paid us a little. She headed for some nickel slots and I headed for a black jack table. I settled into a table with a dealer I’d played several sessions with last summer. Man named Nick. He’s probably in his 60’s. Good dealer lots of fun. Played for about 3 hours before I lost my initial $50.00 buy in. I had a great time at this table. There were some folk at the table who were in Vegas for a stop over before going to San Diego and Phoenix for college bowl games. A young Asian mom who was pregnant with her third child was a bold bettor. She played $20.00 to $50.00 bets and for a good stretch was winning. When she had extracted quite a few green chips from the table she hit a losing streak. We are all telling the dealer give her some good cards “for the baby.†This became our battle cry. Every time someone had a good win or hit a black jack we’d all yell out “for the baby,†even the dealer. It was a real fun session.

    After the Strat we strolled up to Slots of Fun, Westward Ho and Stardust. First time for us in SOF. It is ok. I love the HO. We had dinner at Ca-fae. The pasta and salad bar was good. Nothing fancy just very good for the price. Our meal cost us $18.00 with tip.

    At the HO I played craps for the first time. $1.00 minimums seemed good to this novice. Only played for about 30 minutes. Some craps veterans around me tolerated my lack of knowledge and helped me out a great deal. I actually had a couple of good turns throwing the dice and several people at the table made some money. I did not. I’m going to study the game and will play more during my next trip.

    My wife joined me at a BJ table. My wife stunned me by suggesting we both play Black Jack. The table had a three-dollar minimum. I played $5.00 and $10.00 she played mostly $5.00. We played for 1½ hours. She broke out even. I walked away with a modest $85.00 win.

    The Stardust was packed. Strolled through and out. We went back over to the HO. All the open tables were full. Several tables were idle. The pit bosses didn’t seem to care that players were waiting to play. Then we decided to catch a bus back up to IP. We played BJ at the IP for a couple of hours. A pit boss comes up and asks if we’d like a buffet comp for the next day. I chose not to be rude and accept the offer. I didn’t expect to use it because I’ve read here and other places that a sane person does not eat at any buffet in the Imperial Palace. (Late the next day we did eat at the Emperor’s Buffet and it wasn’t bad, though we were very selective and it was free! Only one or two items reminded me of Randy Quaid’s buffet visit in Vegas Vacation) For this late night session she made a little profit and I colored up with a $80.00 win. The luv tub was relaxing and the sleep was good.


    Monday, December 29

    Monday morning we plan to sleep in and order room service for breakfast again. Before my wife is awake I decide I need a little coffee and head to the casino to play $20.00 through a slot while drinking some java. I get a coffee with Bailey’s ordered and before the waitress comes back I’m close to losing all the twenty. So, I slow down. Coffee comes about the time I hit a little jackpot. 120 coins on a progressive something .25 machine. I play it down. I notice a casino employee that is cleaning around the slots watching me play. She lingers when she’s got the area cleaned. I hit another little jackpot. 80 coins I think. She continues to linger. She says something I partially understand. “Good machine†was part of what she said, I think. I play it down. Looks like I’m going to be at zero credits pretty soon. BAM! I get three bars across the reel on two spots and a 5X progressive on the other spot and the machine starts making a good sound and credits start being added up. It stops at over 500 credits showing. The cleaning woman smiles and moves off to clean another area. I play it down, cash out and take my cup of quarters to the cashier. A $125.00 win with a twenty dollar investment for coffee. I love Vegas!

    My wife initially doubts my winning story when I return to the room. Probably ‘cause I rarely play slots when she’s not around.

    This was going home day. We order a light breakfast from room service. I had booked us a side-by-side massage at the The Spa at Imperial Palace. Finding the IP Spa was great. It is a little spa. It has a wonderful staff. All the stuff we needed was there. They provided comfortable robes, sandals, sauna, steam room, whirlpool. Fruit, juices and water were available in numerous places. It was much less expensive than the spas at nearby resorts. We arrived early for our 11:00am massage and utilized the facilities before the massage. Great Swedish massage. I lingered in the spa for an hour or so after mine. I cannot ever remember being so relaxed and awake at the same time! My wife lingered a bit but soon headed for the room to pack a few things and hit the casino. After spending some more time in the sauna, whirlpool and having a scented shower and then shaving I followed her lead.

    We had a Southwest flight at 6:00pm.It is now about 2:30pm. We are playing black jack. I’m winning again – up about $125.00 after 30 minutes or so. A very nice female pit boss chats with us frequently during this session. Another gentleman at the table has been around the casino most of the times we’ve been there the last couple of days. He and I had played the same tables several times. The lady pit boss asks when we’re leaving. We sadly report that we’re headed to the airport soon. She says we ought to stay around a few more days. The guy at the table whom we’ve seen around begins a conversation with us. He reports that he’d been scheduled to leave on Sunday and on Sunday changed his flight to Monday and now on Monday had changed it to Tuesday. This started us thinking. We did not need to be back home until the weekend. The guy hands me his cell phone with the Southwest reservations phone number on the screen. 10 minutes later I’ve upgraded our tickets (cost me more than I’m willing to admit) and we’re now scheduled to leave Wednesday morning. I approached the IP people to see what they could do about rooms. The room we were in was going to cost us a ton more money. The price was going up 100% or more with each night as New Year’s Eve approached. They did give us a good rate for a standard room. They had some available in the back tower. I chose one in the front tower for the view. And, won’t do that again. The noise from the Carnival Court below is everything it has been reported to be. Anyway, after being with-in two hours of check out and going to the airport we are now staying for two more nights. My wife is thrilled and I’m kind of stunned. Making these kind of spontaneous changes in a plan are not part of my usual behavior. Vegas baby!

    We finish packing and move to our new room and listen to the throbbing, loud music coming up from the party below. We soon hit the casino for a short losing session at the slots and then head out for Harrah’s and possibly a first time visit to Casino Royale. We are pretty indifferent about Harrah’s. Played a little VP. Lose some money. Less than $50.00.

    When we get to Casino Royale we join their slot club, play the promotional tourney, use some of their match play coupons. For us the CASINO ROYALE FUNBOOK is a good thing! (It is just a sheet of coupons actually.) We each win $10.00 playing black at a roulette table on the match plays and take our winnings to a Spanish 21 table and buy in with their money. Some really great people soon join the table and a party ensues. A good party. I start winning and upping my bets. I lose some big hands but I win more than I lose. I started drinking some whiskey on the rocks. A good buzz starts working and I keep on winning. I think every one at the table was doing fairly well. My wife rarely would make her bets over $5.00. So she pretty much stayed even. We play at this table for at least three hours. The cocktail waitresses kept the drinks coming. I got real drunk. When the casino started changing the dealers every ten minutes the table cooled off. After a couple of significant losses and recognizing my impaired status I colored up at $340.00 (I’d been up $525.00) after starting with $10.00 of their money. I love Vegas. My wife decides we need to play Wheel Of Fortune machines with some of their coupons. I don’t remember much of this. But, I think the deal was, you won $25.00 dollars if you hit a wheel spin of over 100 points and $10.00 if you hit one over 50 points. We played and both hit the winning spins and each received $35.00 more of their money. My wife tells me we hit these wins with $10.00 coin in each.

    Guess what? While I was getting drunked up and having a blast playing black jack, snow began falling on Las Vegas. As my wife tried to usher me back to the IP we really enjoyed the winter scene. Seeing the palm trees with snow-laden fronds was pretty cool. When we get back to the room my wife ordered room service and we ate some great burgers at 4:30 am.

    Tuesday, December 30

    Ouch! I haven’t had a hangover in at least 7 years. When I wake up I wonder if I’ve gotten some fast acting form of cancer in my body until I remember the stream of whiskey from the night before. We are both a little weak this morning. We stay in bed for a long time. We venture to the spa hoping a sauna or steam or the whirlpool might help detoxify our bodies. We go back to the room and order a bland breakfast at 2:00pm and try to sleep some more. But, by this time the party at the Carnival Court has begun again. Late in the afternoon we slowly and gingerly make our way to the casino. My wife finds a bank of WOF slots she’s been playing on all weekend. She feels certain two of them want her to win some money. I sit and groan nearby as she begins her play. In less than 30 minutes she hits spins of the Wheel of Fortune that pay her 1000 quarters, 600 quarters and some smaller amounts. All told her little run netted over $500.00. This covers the air faire upgrade and the cost of the room for our extended stay. Life is good.

    We leave the IP and walk towards Paris. It is not as cold but it is still cold. We wander through Barbary Coast and my wife plays $20.00 on black at a roulette table. She does this twice and wins before losing the third attempt. We actually walk into Bally’s. Spent some time just looking around. I occasionally get email and mail offers for pretty decent rates from here. I guess because we have put some play on our PPE player’s cards in the past. We like the feel of the place and will stay on a future trip. Then we move on to Paris. We spent a good amount of time just looking and gawking. We find a coffee/sandwich shop/bakery (can’t remember the name. Could be Boulangerie?). We each had a special they offered which included sandwich or wrap and soup and salad. Along with the caffe latte we each had it was a very satisfying meal for less than $25.00.

    Back out onto the Blvd. Crossed over to Bellagio. Took in our last water show for this trip. It was absolutely wonderful. Holding my sweetheart, almost recovered from alcohol poisoning, beautiful fountains dancing amazingly to the gorgeous Christmas music in the cold night air, I was moved to tears.

    We strolled back down to IP. We found the no smoking BJ table. Our buddy with the cell phone is playing. He had rescheduled his flight again. We all play for a good while. I’m winning. Think I was up about $150.00 when our dealer goes off duty. A young man begins dealing. He’s very fast. He’s somewhat stoic. And, is getting some amazing hands. On one occasion, the table is covered with cards. Six players with at least three cards n front of every player, some have four or five. The dealer has a small card showing (4 or 5 I think). He turns his card and it is small. He proceeds to turn over more small cards and aces until he hits 21. I’m standing on 20 after hitting three times. I’ve got $50.00 bet. All I could do was laugh. Then our buddy says “look at the table, not a single ten or face card showing.†He was right. The table is full of cards. There are maybe as many as 25 cards and not a single 10 or face card. Amazing! After a few wins I’m ready to bet $25.00 a hand again. I get a 9 and a 2. Dealer has a 6. I double and get a 9. Dealer has 6, I’m standing on 20. Life is good I’m gonna win $50.00 right? Several other players have good hands. Dealer turns over a 5 and then hits a face card for 21. Ouch! A few minutes later I’ve clawed my way back to place a $25.00 bet. The dealer gives me two face cards I’m feeling pretty good until he asks if we want insurance. “No†from each player. He’s got a Black Jack. I color up at $185.00 knowing my gambling for this trip is done.

    Sometime between 12:30am and 2:00am we’re back in the room doing some initial packing and waiting on a room service order of soup and sandwich. As was the case throughout our visit the room service at IP was good. We got a good night sleep ‘cause just after lights out the Carnival Court party ended.


    Wednesday, December 31

    Plane leaves at 9:25am so we are up early. Check out was easy. We had built up a lot of points and comp dollars during the stay. The young lady asked me if I wanted to use our comp dollars for the bill. A casino host was called. He arrived quickly and authorized her to use all our comp dollars towards room charges. This ended up taking more than $150.00 off our final bill. I was pleased. This was the first trip where I’d engaged a casino host or other casino employees to see what they could do for us. In the future I’ll begin that relationship as soon as I arrive on the property. We grab a cab. Nice driver gets us to the airport quickly. Give him $15.00 for a $9.80 fare. Sky cab check in for the flight is a breeze. Security moves us through very quickly. In no time we’re eating a pastry and drinking Starbuck’s with more than an hour and a half to wait. I hand my wife a hundy and tell her to find a lucky $1 WOF machine. If she’d hit a jackpot of more than $1,000.00 I was going to suggest we stay around a few more days. Alas, she burned the 100 dollars in about 15 minutes.

    Flight home was uneventful. We were home, unpacked and relaxing before 4:00pm New Year’s Eve. We stayed up to see the New Year’s Eve celebration in NY. Also saw some of the lame FOX show from Vegas.

    All in all it was great trip to VEGAS. Not sure when we will be back. But if I were a wagering man, I’d bet on next June.

    Highlights: Bellagio Conservatory, Chihuly glass in Bellagio Lobby (I spend time gawking here every Vegas trip), several water shows at Bellagio, The Spa at Imperial Palace, Room service at Imperial Palace, no smoking BJ tables at Imperial Palace, finally seeing a Cirque show in Vegas, playing “for the baby†at Stratosphere, good gambling and lots of cheap whiskey at Casino Royale, watching my wife tear up a quarter WOF for a good win, excellent meal at P.F. Changs in the Aladdin, good meal at Westward Ho’s Ca-fae, Snow in Vegas Baby!, watching a flood from our balcony, coming home with $800.00 after arriving in Vegas with $1400.00 and spending 6 days gambling and romping on my favorite playground.

    Lowlights: the elevators at Imperial Palace, the initial hassle getting checked in to IP, It was cold in Vegas!, watching a flood from our balcony, the stream of cheap whiskey at Casino Royale, not seeing Mac King or Ron Lucas or Bottoms Up or any other afternoon shows,
     
  2. Billy from TX.

    Billy from TX. Tourist

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Messages:
    1,363
    Location:
    Wylie, Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    6
    Good report! I'm only half way through it. I gotta get to work. I really enjoy detailed reports. I'll finish reading later.
     
  3. Coaster Kikky

    Coaster Kikky Tourist

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    Messages:
    11,494
    Location:
    Here
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    32
    What a mostly fun trip that sounds like! Thanks for taking the time to write it up for our reading enjoyment - and welcome to the T2V board! [​IMG]

    Kitty
     
  4. btodd

    btodd High-Roller

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2003
    Messages:
    610
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    27
    Great report!! It makes me look forward to my return trip to my favourite city in May even more. I live in Canada and right now the windchill is -40!!! We are on the metric system but -40 is -40 on both the metric and imperial system YIKES!!!!
     
  5. Sounds like you guys had a good time overall! I can't wait - 14 days and counting!!! :D

    I'm with your wife - I love those WOF slots! I love to hear that "Wheel...Of...Fortune!" [​IMG]
     
  6. milehiman

    milehiman VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Great Trip report. I like the detailed ones.

    I haven't seen the latest Cirque show, but the other two in Vegas "O" and "Mystere" are great. Defitely something to look forward to on your return trips.

    Glad to see that you were able to recover from your early losses.
     
  7. bubbakitty

    bubbakitty native Texan; born and bred.

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    my wife and i love to go in june and from sat as well although the parking is best; fares are better from austin....however....

    love to bet the baseball in june....great trip report...maybe share a drink next time
     
    1st Super Bowl DT...Panthers / Browns no doubt
    Spur of momento trip
  8. davepri

    davepri Tourist

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
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    Great Report Jones.
    My wife and I have got the same jones as you. We have been to vegas three times in the last three years. Usually go in Nov. before the holidays to get ready for the "family holiday fun". Have stayed downtown but am thinking of staying at the Srat next year. Can you give me any insight to the casino and hotel there.
    Thanks Dave P.
     
  9. NEON

    NEON Tourist

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2003
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    Location:
    Santa Fe
    Great report!

    Don't ya just hate it when the count is totally in your favor on BJ and it works to the dealers advantage instead of the players... [​IMG]
    Sounds like IP rates pretty good on comps. Were you playing $10 hands most of the time?

    Dave P., I have not stayed at the Strat but have played there and liked the casino as it has good odds and lower minimums. They had a craps table where you could play $3 minimum with 3x4x5 odds or a $5 minimum with I think 5x odds maybe 10x??? They also have the single zero Roulette wheel! Make sure that when you go, you sign up for the players card and play like crazy the first half hour. Then when you come back the next visit, they give you 15% of your coin in as cash!!! [​IMG] When I signed up, I played the 25 cent Elvis for the half hour at 3 coins and it racked up $50 in cash! [​IMG] That means that my $60 I invested in the machine made over $300 coin in. The best part was I got Elvis spin for 1,000 quarters and cashed out up almost $200!!! [​IMG]
    The only downfall to the Strat is the location. If you do not mind cabbing it or rent a car, then it is ok I'm sure...
     
  10. ritilinkid

    ritilinkid Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Maine
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    Thanks for a great trip report seemed like I was with you all the way. Except for the tub I closed my eyes! [​IMG]
     
  11. pezarino

    pezarino Guest

    It's funny - whenever I read a trip report and the end of the trip is near - check-out time coming close -I get very sad just reading about getting ready to leave Vegas. Then surprise!!! you ended up staying two more days. I love it. Great trip report.
     
  12. gotavegasjones

    gotavegasjones VIP Whale

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    Neon, Yeah, I thought the IP was fair in its comp rating. My wife racked up a bunch of points and comp dollars on our players cards. My play at the tables was figured in too. I played $5.00 and $10.00 at the start of each session. If I was getting some cards and winning I'd raise my bets. A couple of sessions I probably averaged $20.00 a hand. Made for some good wins but also made for a couple of grinding losses. All in all it was alot of fun!
     
  13. gotavegasjones

    gotavegasjones VIP Whale

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    davepri

    My wife and I always enjoy our stays at the Stratoshpere. If you enjoy the downtown hotels you'll probably be just fine at the Strat. We are low rollers and feel right at home in the casino. You can play big if you want but there are always lots of low limit tables open($3 min BJ). The BJ rules are good compared with some of the joints at mid-strip. I haven't played craps there but I read that some folks like the Strats game. Lots and lots of all kinds of slots. Fair amount of Video Poker. Like an earlier poster said "get their players card and use it a bunch in the first 30 minutes." My wife and I are on the same account. After our first visit we received a check for $110.00. Of course the check could only be cashed at the Strat cashiers cage. We have received a newsletter from the Strat just about every 4 months since our first visit there in 2001. In the newsletter there are always coupons for free or very inexpensive rooms, 2/1 buffets, good deals on the afternoon show (Viva Las Vegas) and evening show (American Superstars), discounts for the tower rides. We've been to both shows and they are good. I've done the roller coaster and the Big Shot up on the Tower. The Big Shot is cool. The coaster is wimpy. I'll probably do the new ride next June. We have always enjoyed eating at Lucky's Cafe and at Roxy's Diner. Lucky's is your standard casino coffee shop. Roxy's Diner is a 50's style hamburger joint with singing wait staff - lots of fun. Many people avoid the Strat because of its location. When we stay there we do rent a car. Access to I-15, downtown, mid and south strip and the outlying areas is pretty easy form there. There is a bus stops right in front of the joint so travel to downtown or down the strip is pretty easy on the 301/302.

    If you stay at the Strat ask for a room in the new tower. The rooms are much nicer - maybe a bit smaller but nicer. And ask for an upgrade to a jacuzzi tub. Most of the time, if there is a room available in the new tower, the clerk will offer the upgrade for free. Always helps if you treat the clerk well. They are usually busy and check in can often take 15 - 30 minutes so a pleasant attitude by the next customer is appreciated and rewarded.

    Hope this is what you were asking for?
     
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