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Weekend Wedding in Las Vegas 11/19-11/22

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by YoungGun, Nov 23, 2004.

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  1. YoungGun

    YoungGun VIP Whale

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    My Trip Report

    Hey everybody. I was in Las Vegas over the weekend for my aunt's wedding. I hadn't planned on going, but it turns out the Chrysler Pacifica my mom rented couldn't hold everyone and their luggage so I got talked into driving a second car holding my cousin and most of the luggage. Went with another aunt and her husband, my cousins, my sister, and my mom. This trip report is going to be shorter than my others since I'm skipping the parts about meeting family members and lots of other stuff that wouldn't be interesting unless you were there. Of course, I had to be on good behavior since mom was along on the trip, but that also means I got someone paying for my meals :D

    11/19 (really mostly 11/20, but my day ends when I fall asleep)
    Not much really happened on this day since we left at 10PM and get to Las Vegas a little after 1AM. I used a mailer I got from Imperial Palace for $49 a night for 2 nights. My aunt and cousins got a room at the Imperial Palace for $79 a night using TravelSwitch.com that I found on TravelAxe. The rate from the Imperial Palace website was $129 a night for that weekend so we both got pretty good deals. My other aunt, the one getting married, had a honeymoon suite at Treasure Island that came with the wedding package they booked. Others who went to the wedding stayed at various hotels. My aunt's coworkers booked as a group at the Stratosphere for $69 a night per room.

    When we got to Imperial Palace my fuel gauge was dipping under empty, but we made it. Bonus: the IP parking garage did not smell! There was no line to check in. The clerk said that they were out of normal rooms. I was worried for a while that he was going to stick us in the east building out by the parking garage, but after he spoke to his manager we got upgraded to a suite. I gave the guy $10. I would have given him a $20, but I only had $10 in my pocket (remember, I did not anticipate that I'd be going on this trip). I'm not sure what level of suite we got, but it was a pretty big sized room on the 16th floor with a sitting area, bedroom, love tub, 2 TVs and a balcony with a view of Harrah's. The thing had mirrors above the bed and above the love tub, which didn't do me any good since I was with my mom and sister. I slept on the couch. My other relatives got a standard remodeled room on the 15th floor with a view of Harrah's. The only bad thing about our rooms was that they were located near the infamous IP elevators. The room that I had in the summer was located near the smaller bank of elevators in the front and we never got why people complained so much about the IP elevators in the past. Now we know. We ordered some room service which was good and reasonably priced by room service standards. Plus they didn't do the automatic 18% gratuity thing. I had a personal deep dish pizza. It was very good, but I went a little overboard with the crushed red peppers and had a stomach ache all night. I had a cold the week before and was still recovering (part of the reason I didn't want to come on this trip). I stopped taking cold medicine since I don't like the drugged up feeling it gives me, but my mom made me since my coughing was keeping her up. I finally fell asleep watching replays of the Pacers/Pistons fight around 5AM.

    11/20
    I woke up around noon. My mom is going to meet up with the rest of the wedding party at the Emperor's Buffet. I told them I heard bad things about the buffet, but they went anyways. My sister and I ordered room service and once again it was pretty good. My mom came back. She thought the buffet was OK, but my aunt and her husband thought it was pretty bad. Anyways, everyone starts to get ready for the wedding so I skip ahead a few hours to...

    The wedding. I'm still feeling crappy from the combination of eating way too much crushed red pepper and the cold medicine along with the Las Vegas weather. I'm breaking out into a cold sweat and the hypochondriac in me starts to wonder if the virus from the Flamingo had migrated to the IP. I drive to TI with my car running on fumes and I get to the wedding just in time. The ceremony is short and we're out of there and a few of the guest that came late actually missed the wedding. The chapel didn't look that great and sadly lacked any sort of pirate theme. The next wedding party was waiting in the lobby as we exited. My mom and I both agreed that my other aunts wedding at the Little White Wedding Chapel 2 years ago was much nicer than the cookie cutter wedding at Treasure Island. TI, you just got wedding served by a place with a drive thru window.

    After the wedding the plan is to meet at Stratosphere for dinner at Fellini's Tower of Pasta. I go fill up at the Chevron/Terrible's across the street from the Palms. That's the place with the service station that helped my friend out with his truck for no extra charge on my last trip. See, I have loyalty for the places that treat their customers right. I then go back to IP to change into something more comforatable since the suit is killing me with the cold and upset stomach. I think about skipping dinner altogether and start playing VP. I win about $50 and decide to quit while ahead. On my way to my room to change, I see a silver strike machine. I decide to give it a try. I lose $20, but win 2 $10 silver stikes. So I guess I'm kind of even :confused: I can't find a change counter to cash in my $50 from VP. I eventually figure out that since IP is mostly TITO machines now, they got ride of the change counters and put in change machines. The wins make me feel a little better so I decide to head over to the Stratosphere for dinner at Fellini's Tower of Pasta. The name of the place scared me a little. It was chosen because they were the only place they could find that had a private dining area available for that night. I read some reviews before hand and they were all generally positive. The place has that theme that I find annoying where they paint the ceiling blue to make you think you're eating outdoors. The food was really good though and I think the place would be a little more popular if it wasn't located in the Stratosphere.

    After dinner it was back to IP for some gambling. I taught my mom to play VP and I hit my first $100 jackpot ever on a Men in Black penny machine. Those MIB machines as really nice; they even have BOSE speakers. I play machines the whole night and am up $300 at one point but quit when I'm down to being up $200 plus 2 silver strikes. I get over 90 points on my Imperial VIP card which, using their $10=1 point formula means that I put $900 through the machines that night. It is funny how those things add up.

    11/21
    Everyone gets up early and check out. I talk everyone (the group in now just those who came with us, not the whole wedding party) into brunch at The Buffet at the Las Vegas Hilton. A small, but underated buffet. I like it because it is cheap and there is never a long wait. Everyone enjoys it a lot, especially those who had ate the IP buffet the day before. The prime rib and Asian selections got high marks from all. My one recommendation would be for them to put out some cream cheese in single serving packets for their bagels. The big communal tub of cream cheese was not very appetizing. My mom pays for my sister and my cousins go on Star Trek: The Experience after brunch. This was really just her way of distracting the underaged while the rest of us got in some gambling. The Hilton is still trying to figure out which direction it wants to go with under the new owners. They are way behind the curve in terms of machines. I got the feeling that Caesars used the Hilton as a place where old machines went to die, judging by the number of old machines there. The new owners seem to be removing some of the older ones, though they have removed some of my favorites it is a good thing. They've added some new ones and most of the newer ones are penny video slots. They even got rid of the cluster of high limit slots by the keno area and put in a bunch of penny slots there. Since they have so many older machines, they still have a bunch of slot attendants and change personnel. Since a lot of places are cutting down on these positions due to TITO, they seem to have all migrated to the Las Vegas Hilton since there seemed to always be so many around. Anyways, the slots in the SpaceQuest area are still super tight and I'm down $100 in a few minutes. Quite an accomplishment since I'm playing 3 nickels at a time. Since the machines are so tight my mom and aunt start playing at the 6:5 single deck Star Trek tables. Hey, I warned them, but they could not be stopped.

    We start to head home around 5PM. I manage to accidently take the tunnel when I miss a turn and end up at the airport. Still, the tunnel takes me to the freeway and we head home...

    Only to find that it is snowing and the I15 is closed. They're turning everyone back. We end up at Whiskey Pete's in Primm, the place that's themed to a drunk prospector yet looks like a castle from the outside. I'm perplexed to report that inside the castle the theme switches back to drunken prospector. It is a madhouse inside. The place is packed and the line to get a room for the night stretches from the front desk to the entrance to their pool area. They are completely undermanned and there are people everywhere. We decide to wait out the snow and everyone but me goes to eat at McDonalds. I'm sitting at a slot machine when my dad calls and tells me that they're saying the I15 won't be open for a while. Other people at Whiskey Pete's appear to be getting similar news and soon people all over the casino are on their cells phones calling in to work and looking for a hotel room. We decide to head back to Las Vegas. Since so many people are using their cell phones the system is busy around Whiskey Pete's and we have to keep redialing to get through. So we each get on a cell phone and try dialing numbers on the back of our player's club cards. I get through to Hard Rock, but they don't answer. A few tries later, I am through to Luxor and they give me a rate of $79 a night. My mom gets a rate of $129 from TI so we go with Luxor. I didn't pack a sweater or jacket for this trip since I figured I wasn't going to be outside much. My suit jacket was packed and I had walked across the Whiskey Pete's parking lot in a t-shirt. I almost froze and did not want to walk back in a t-shirt so I bought a trendy Whiskey Pete sweater. I really must compliment how well the staff at Whiskey Pete's dealt with the huge crowds. Everyone was really nice. As we drive back we see that all the Primm casinos and the Jean ones as well are packed.

    I have been critical of Mandalay Resorts in the past. I like their casinos, even Circus Circus. However, I've run into so many horrible policies and jerk employees that I've soured to their resorts. I remember reading Hurricane Mikey's report of them not grandfathering him when they raised the minimum at Luxor, so I see I'm not alone. I've warmed a little to them with a pretty good experience at Mandalay Bay on my last trip. When we got to Luxor they told me to check in at the One Club check in since I booked through the number on the back of my card. I don't have many points with One Club so I thought it was nice of them. I thought it would be a seperate line, but I couldn't find a One Club line so I just went to a normal front desk line to check in. Turns out they wanted me to use the VIP check in, but I just check in at the front desk anyways since I'm already there. They give us two rooms next to each other in the pyramid. I really enjoyed the Luxor. The inclinators, the room decor, etc. it was great. I can see how ancient Egypt might not have the romantic appeal of Paris or Venice, but the little boy in me loved the theme and the hierogrphyics on the head boards. Heck, I ran out of the restroom holding the shower cap to show my sister how clever the pyramid shaped box it came in looked. The TV internet was also great for those of us without laptops. I'm hungry since I skipped the McDonalds at Whiskey Pete's. I look at the Luxor room service menu and it didn't offer much selection and was really expensive. It made me miss IP room service. I decide to go downstairs to grab something to eat, which of course leads to more gambling with my mom and my aunt. Here the innane policies of the Mandalay Resorts Group comes back. My mom earns 68 points quickly and goes to the One Club desk to get her free keychain. They scan the card and it says she only has 2 points even though every slot machine she sticks it into indicates she has 68. They won't give her the keychain. So she plays some more and after a while goes back. The system now shows she has the points now, but they won't give her the keychain. Apparently, when they say new members can get a keychain by earning 25 points in 1 day they didn't mean you have a 24 hour period. You get until midnight. It was now 12:15AM and even though my mom signed up for the club at 11PM and had more than enough points at 11:30, she was not given a keychain. Well that ticks us off a little. We play a little more and I get back up to $170 for the trip, but had they not been jerks about the whole keychain thing we would have played much more. I grab a slice of pizza from Little Caesars in the food court before going to bed.

    The next day we leave. Having not packed for an extra day I am wearing a Las Vegas Hilton Millon Dollar Supernove t-shirt and my stylish Whiskey Pete's sweater. Somehow, I grabbed an extra pair of boxer while packing so I'm covered there, so to speak, but I had to buy a pair of $4 socks at Sobek's Sundries. I'm impressed enough by the decision to name a gift shop after the Egyptian god of fertility to not care. Those Mandalay people could teach Whiskey Pete a thing or two about theming and Whiskey Pete could teach them about customer service. 7 hours and many traffic delays later I get home. Thanks for reading.

    [ November 23, 2004, 09:55 AM: Message edited by: YoungGun ]
     
  2. Jer

    Jer VIP Whale

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    Yeah, that grandfathering in thang at the Luxor sucks... I love the poker room there, so it is a major confrontation of morality for me.

    I've had to stop in Primm for the snow as well, but we ended up just getting a room there before the rush started. I like Buffalo Bills craps table, nothing special or fancy, just usually treats me right.

    Good read YG, and thanks.... [​IMG]

    [ November 23, 2004, 10:03 AM: Message edited by: Vegas Jer ]
     
  3. YoungGun

    YoungGun VIP Whale

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  4. HurricaneMikey

    HurricaneMikey A-List Buffoon

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    Hey Gun...

    Sounds like you had quite the adventurous trip. As much as I love the pyramid rooms there at the Luxor, I'm still sour on their casino after what they did to me and Dawn last March. Sounds like they've kept up their usual low standards in the customer service department.

    Thanks for taking the time to give us a little Vegas fix!

    Mikey
     
  5. Typhinie

    Typhinie Tourist

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    Nice report. Atleast you ended up in Vegas for another night!
     
  6. jenaphir

    jenaphir Low-Roller

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    i cant believe they were so stingy with the keychain! i loved your pictures. thanks for sharing!
     
  7. misterKeno

    misterKeno Guest

    A good read. And, good picts also of that IP room. Forgive my tidbit of laughter (lol), but, i'm for some reason thinkin pvc-pipe for the legs of all the furniture in the room!!

    Well, mother nature got ya eh? Guess, that's how it goes--but you increased your wardrobe w/ those souvenir pieces of clothing. Woohoo.

    Well done

    mK
     
  8. Vegas Tonya

    Vegas Tonya Margarita Connoisseur

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    Nice read! Thanks YG!

    We have been snowed in before and have seen the exhausted travelers at WP. Fortunately I call my sister and have her get a room through her host and we don't have to wait in line and we get a room without a problem (no matter how busy). She and her hubby drop "way" too much money there that they are the original "preferred customers".

    But to have an extra day "unplanned" in Vegas is pretty great.

    I enjoyed your excitement at the pyramid shower cap box. [​IMG]
     
  9. boxcars

    boxcars High-Roller

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    Nice TR YG!

    Not feeling great sucks.... but at least it was Vegas!
     
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