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Vintage Trip Report from 1971

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by vegasvette, Apr 24, 2015.

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  1. vegasvette

    vegasvette Low-Roller

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    My Trip Report

    I just read a trip report someone wrote regarding a trip in the late 70’s. It reminded me of my first trip, so I thought I’d share my recollections.

    Background:
    Many years before I was old enough to go to Vegas, I was taught and practiced a couple of the games offered there. Blackjack was the first game I learned. Not exactly basic strategy, but learning the rules and studying accounting, I understood the concept. The second game I learned was once through the deck solitaire. I was told you could buy a deck for $50 and would receive $5 per card placed on the aces. You’d turn the cards over one at a time and only go through the deck once. I don’t know if any of that was true, but I believed it to be true. I have never seen the game in Vegas.

    Setting:
    I think it’s 1971, and I need to go from Milwaukee to Los Angeles for a business trip, my first one. I was 23 years old. I decided to go a day early, and stay one night in Las Vegas. I wanted to stay on the strip, but had little available cash. I chose the brand new Holiday Inn – Center Strip (now Harrah’s). It was just being completed and had no casino yet. I don’t recall how much it cost per night, but I will guarantee there was no such thing as a resort fee.
    I remember how warm it was for February. I remember wearing clothes from the times. Bellbottom red, white and blue striped pants, white belt and shoes, and a skinny kid shirt. I was so cool. I was so impressionable, and felt I knew more than anyone in town.

    Trip:
    I am not even sure the plan ride was a jet, nor if it was non stop. I have no recollection of how I got to the hotel, but it must have been by cab. There was no such thing as a tunnel back then. The strip was very much different then, obviously. The hotels in the area that I remember were Caesar’s across the street, The Dunes, and The Flamingo. LV Blvd was just another road, typical of most in the country. One or two lanes in each direction. I first ventured out on the east side of LV Blvd and went to the south. I ended up in what seemed like a strip mall type place with the Bonanza Casino located there. I recall wanting to be sure I fully understood the procedures and rules for blackjack and decided to watch for quite a while, with my hands in my pockets. I did not want to be embarrassed and probably wanted to impress everyone with my suave, debonair style.
    As time passed, my confidence grew and I was ready to venture into the game for the first time ever when a seat became available. I assuredly slid onto the barstool, and removed my hand from my pocket with the $10 bill I was clutching in my hand. I set the crumpled bill on the table in front of me, expecting 10 silver dollars in which I would play with, one at a time. I was oh so sure I would just blend in with these other experts at the table. Well, the dealer unfolds the bill, and flattens it out onto the table in front of him, then announces to the whole world, “Wow, this is all wet”. I’m sure it must have been the red from my pants reflecting on my face. I felt so embarrassed that my sweat drenched the $10 bill.
    I think I probably lost the entire buy in and walked on. I was highly impressed by Caesars with the tree lined entrance to their one building hotel. The aqua lights on the building made it shine like the true jewel it was. I remember the huge Dunes sign on the corner of Flamingo and LV Blvd. The golf course behind the dunes was as green as could be.
    I remember walking down the strip that night, to the north. It was either the Frontier or the Stardust that I decided to take the rest of my $50 bankroll to the poker table. My game of choice? 7 card stud. I think the game was either dime or quarter ante, and maybe $2 maximum bet. I had no clue what I was doing, and must have been an easy mark for the others playing. I never won a pot. I watched in amazement as these guys took me for everything. With tail firmly placed between my legs, I retreated to the room to watch TV, wondering if I’d ever return.
    Quite the learning experience for my first time there, but I realized one thing from this short time in what would become my travel destination of choice for almost 45 years. I would never go back underfunded, nor for such a short stay.
    I’ve been to Vegas probably 50 times since, have written several trip reports, and seen and done most of the things I wish to see or do.

    I wonder if others here would like to share trip reports from long before most VMBer’s were born.
     
  2. Royal Flusher

    Royal Flusher Savvy Gambler

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    Wonderful! Thanks for writing this up!
     
  3. Commodore69

    Commodore69 Tourist

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    What a great idea for a thread. Thanks for your report!

    *thinks about early 80's convention trips with Dad*

    Might have to pencil one of these out :)
     
  4. mdee

    mdee VIP Whale

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    That was a Fun Read... Thanks for sharing! My first trip was memorable but not in a good way.
    I didn't go back for 18 years and it took a lot to get me to go back for my 2nd trip in 2006.
    I liked it so much I went back 4 times in 2006. I think it has a lot to do with the person you go with.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2015
  5. theghost

    theghost Low-Roller

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    Love these glimpses into Vegas past! Thank you for sharing this with us
     
  6. vegasvette

    vegasvette Low-Roller

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    it's nice to hear some of you enjoyed the distant past. Most of the memories from trips long ago include time spent at The Castaways, Stardust, Silver Slipper, Sands, Landmark, Dunes, Frontier, and Desert Inn. I recently found old matchbook covers from TheThunderbird, Sahara as well as the aforementioned. Maybe I'll write other trip reports from the mid 70's and post them here.
     
  7. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    My first trip was '82 and I also stayed at Holiday Inn Ship on the Strip, but it had a casino, of course, by then.

    Thanks for sharing your memories.
     
  8. Superpocky

    Superpocky VIP Whale

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    Wow, this is so excellent and before my time, thank you so much for writing this up.

    My first ever trip was early 1990, staying at the brand new Mirage.
     
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