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24 hours to a "different" kind of TR. 11/30-12/3/2018 GGWU and HGS

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by DaiLun, Nov 29, 2018.

  1. DaiLun

    DaiLun R.C., L.C., and A.A.N.G.

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    My Trip Report

    OK, so what's so different about this trip?

    Well, I have about $2500 in holiday points to spend.

    $900+ in GGWU, and
    $1600 in HGS via myVegas

    I'm staying at MGM Grand as part of the requirement for the myVegas HGS points. Fortunately, I got a "pay only resort fee" comp from mLife.

    the GGWU swipe doesn't count as a gaming day, but meals would, so no CET meals this trip. I DO have $600 in mLife gift cards to spend, or I could just be "cheap" and eat in Chinatown all weekend.

    I do have a car, a $12.00/day special from Payless, and I'm flying one segment on points, using A-list standby privileges.

    My Holiday gift plans are:

    VISA gift cards (the only cards that CET is giving for GGWU), and a combination of Free Play and mLife gift cards at HGS.

    Friday night's activities is pretty much open.

    I chose not to renew my marker privileges at mLife this trip, giving me until April to do so if I choose.

    Miscellaneous notes:

    Friday Dinner is TBD
    Momofuku is on the "list" for pork belly ramen this trip.
    Maybe a quick trip downtown to use November's FP at the D
    I may hit the Las Vegas lounge to cross one more thing off my "bucket list"..

    Saturday's itinerary is:

    GGWU at Bally's
    Lunch at Noodles (Bellagio)
    YAYOI KUSAMA's art exhibit at Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art
    HGS redemption
    Open after that . . . .

    Sunday is completely open, may go to the Pinball Hall of Fame or downtown to see if there are any colored cap silver strikes left.

    So this will be a "minimal play" trip. I am hoping that the mLife Free Play keeps me going for the whole trip.

    Food porn pictures and hopefully some slot porn . . . .
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018
    First trip of 2019 - my birthday
    OK, so I lied. Couldn't pass up the FP offer. Lake Tahoe.
    • Like Like x 10
  2. Miller12pack

    Miller12pack High-Roller

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    Have a great trip.
     
  3. Craps all day

    Craps all day Low-Roller

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    Sounds like an excellent mix of plans and free time. If you happen to make it out to the D tomorrow night (Friday), look for 3 dudes yelling at the craps table.
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  4. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Good luck!

    Did a host tell you that GGWU doesn't trigger a day? I thought CET basically triggered a day for almost anything.
     
  5. rooster42000

    rooster42000 Patriots #1

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    Sounds exciting , good luck.
     
  6. DaiLun

    DaiLun R.C., L.C., and A.A.N.G.

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    Total Rewards told me when I asked them.

    As I posted in my other thread:

    "Hello xxxxxxxxx

    Thank you for contacting Bally's Las Vegas. It is my pleasure to assist you with your gaming inquiry. When you swipe your card to redeem Great Gift Wrap Up points it does not count as a gaming day. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.


    Thank you for choosing Bally's!

    Have an amazing day!

    xxxxxxx
    Total Service Central Team
     
    First trip of 2019 - my birthday
    OK, so I lied. Couldn't pass up the FP offer. Lake Tahoe.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    That's possibly a good sign for parking then too. That is another area where I never got a definite answer.
     
  8. DaiLun

    DaiLun R.C., L.C., and A.A.N.G.

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    Well, that might not be so, but I will ask and see what kind of answer I get.

    OK, I got a partial answer:

    "Hello Michael,

    Thank you for contacting Harrah's Las Vegas! It is my pleasure to assist you with your promotional day inquiry. Swiping your Total Rewards card for parking will not qualify as activity in a promotional day. Please let me know if there is anything further I can assist with.

    Thank you for choosing Harrah's!

    Have an amazing day!

    Wanda
    Total Service Central Team
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    I replied and asked her about a "regular" day, but seeing that she had to specify "promotional" in her earlier reply, I'm guessing regular days count.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
    First trip of 2019 - my birthday
    OK, so I lied. Couldn't pass up the FP offer. Lake Tahoe.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. meyers67

    meyers67 VIP Whale

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    My experience with parking is that the valet guys just look at the card, they don’t take it and therefore they don’t swipe it. So I don’t see how that triggers anything. Is your experience different?
     
    New Years Eve in Vegas
  10. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Depends on the location for valet. I wanna say PHo forced you to insert your TR card upon return at a kiosk.

    Also you're definitely putting it in a machine at self parking.
     
  11. DaiLun

    DaiLun R.C., L.C., and A.A.N.G.

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    OK, an update, my mLife points are in the system. Both CET and mLife "discount" Free Play, so that makes my choice a little easier for mLife.

    It's 30,000 points for $100.00 FP vs. 35,000 points for a $100 retail gift card. The only stipulation on Free Play is that it must be used by Sunday (end of HGS)

    @meyers67 previously reported that FP at CET is 27,500 for $100! Makes me consider FP (if there are no FP restrictions at CET . . . . , because this is definitely a "no CET play trip").

    So far, things are going smoothly. I pre-checked in at MGM Grand. Let's see how early I can get "out of here". Working half day and off by noon.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
    First trip of 2019 - my birthday
    OK, so I lied. Couldn't pass up the FP offer. Lake Tahoe.
    • Like Like x 2
  12. john1516inny

    john1516inny Low-Roller

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    Looking forward to your report. Have a friend at Paris, says its like really busy and low diamond people are the worst,lol
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
  13. DaiLun

    DaiLun R.C., L.C., and A.A.N.G.

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    @tringlomane (AND OTHERS) Well I'll be . . . . . HERE'S THE WORD ON PARKING AT CET.

    "Hello xxxxxxxx,

    Swiping your Total Rewards card within a promotional day or a regular day will not qualify as activity on your account. The only way that parking activity will actually count for you is if you were to pay for parking by charging it to your room. However, this process can take up to 10 days for credit to be added to your account.

    Thank you,

    yyyyyyyy"
     
    First trip of 2019 - my birthday
    OK, so I lied. Couldn't pass up the FP offer. Lake Tahoe.
    • Informative Informative x 3
  14. DaiLun

    DaiLun R.C., L.C., and A.A.N.G.

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    So, the first thing is that it didn't take me too long to get my car at Payless, and for $12.00/day, I'm not complaining.

    I tried checking in using the mobile check-in, but couldn't get it to work, so I had to have a gal check me in. I was told that I could use the something-something lounge to check in. I'll check it out when I go out in the car tonight. I'm checked into the room. OK, who told them that I wasn't gambling this trip?!? I got a near-end-of-the-hallway room.

    Low floor, no view, but it's a Grand King and otherwise acceptable for me, considering I'm only paying resort fees.

    Room pictures below.
    upload_2018-11-30_18-14-10.png
    upload_2018-11-30_18-14-26.png
    upload_2018-11-30_18-16-0.png
    Bathroom is a combination shower and tub
    upload_2018-11-30_18-15-13.png
    Single sink
    upload_2018-11-30_18-15-38.png
    I'll take a picture of the "wonderful" view when it's light.

    I have a schedule and I'm gonna try to keep to it.

    I think I'll take a walk downstairs to the mLife booth, renew my Gold cards and see what I can do with my points. GGWU is closed for the day, and HGS at Bellagio will be closed shortly.
     
    First trip of 2019 - my birthday
    OK, so I lied. Couldn't pass up the FP offer. Lake Tahoe.
    • Like Like x 5
  15. DaiLun

    DaiLun R.C., L.C., and A.A.N.G.

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    OK,so I sat at the skill based machine for about an hour and a half, and actually WON $60.00. I played the evolution game.

    Went over to the latest edition of Wonder 4, Wonder 4 zoom or something like that. Playing between $6.50 and $10.00 a spin lost back the $60 I was up plus another $300.00. Went back to the mLife desk and got new cards for the new "year". Had $40 FP credited to my card and told that I had $50.00 in resort credit.

    Went downtown and took out a marker. Not red/blue caps in the machines, but there were Yellow caps in the yellow cap machine. I sat down and put in $100 plus $20.00 in Free play. It took $60 to get the first one, and I decided to play off the rest of the $100 when to my surprise, up popped another one. So, two Yellow caps for $73.00. The going rate for Yellow caps is between $75 and $100 each, so I consider myself "up". They were "Spirit of the Wolf", so good trade material for January.
    upload_2018-11-30_23-8-41.png
    upload_2018-11-30_23-9-17.png
    Decided to have Prime Rib dinner at Magnolia's
    The soup was Manhattan Clam Chowder. It's been awhile since I had that.
    upload_2018-11-30_23-10-24.png
    Then, a generous cut of the rarest Prime Rib that they had at almost 9PM
    upload_2018-11-30_23-11-19.png
    Used QQQQ comp points to pay for it, Under $20.00.
    Got in the car and drove to Walgreens to pick up drinks and snacks. A necessary strategy because I was so far down the hall.
    Finally got back, and sat down to a Buffalo Grand machine. Put in $2-$300 more and hit this:
    upload_2018-11-30_23-14-1.png
    5 Elk x 36 (2 x 3 x 3 x 2)
    Decided to call it a day at that point. Made back everything I'd spent during the day and I'm up a little.
    The schedule tomorrow is
    10AM - GGWU
    11AM - Lunch at Noodles (Bellagio) with a local friend
    12 Noon - The art exhibit at Bellagio Gallery Of Fine Art
    1PM - HGS

    Still on the fence about what I want to get. I'm pretty set on VISA GC at GGWU, and a mix of FP and mLife GC at HGS.

    Breakfast might be at Silverton. I have a buffet and $15 food money out there.

    Night night . . . . :snore:
     
    First trip of 2019 - my birthday
    OK, so I lied. Couldn't pass up the FP offer. Lake Tahoe.
    • Like Like x 4
  16. Eric1285

    Eric1285 Low-Roller

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    Enjoy that pork belly ramen if you make it to Momofuku. I thought it was fantastic, although I am not a ramen afficianado.

    Magnolia's prime rib looks great...will have to try it next time.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. DaiLun

    DaiLun R.C., L.C., and A.A.N.G.

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    Boy, am I beat . . . . 4:05PM on the second day and I am "officially" done.

    Everything went according to schedule. I think it's the first time that it has.
    Here's the new iteration of Wonder 4. It's called Wonder 4 Boost


    So, breakfast this morning was at Silverton. I "needed" to make enough points to keep my level for the next period. Down $300 at the start. Slot porn later.

    7AM - Breakfast at the Sundance Cafe Silverton. Had a bagel with lox and cream cheese, tomatoes, onions, and capers.
    upload_2018-12-1_16-7-36.png
    The total cost was $17 and change, but after subtracting the tax, I was out of pocket $1.08
    Still short a few points, so I sat down at Lord of the Rings, and what do you know, a . . . . . handpay!!!
    upload_2018-12-1_16-9-6.png
    upload_2018-12-1_16-9-22.png
    $1276.80 . . .put me back up for the trip
    Also hit for Wheel of Fortune for $800
    upload_2018-12-1_16-10-35.png
    So, now I'm up a "fair" amount, finished off making my level, and off to Fry's.
    Bought a Blu-Ray copy of "Crazy Rich Asians" just for the special features. Easy to do when your "up".
    At that point, it was time to go to GGWU and get my points discrepancy straightened out.
    So, I went to the Guest Assistance desk, and who should I see there but "S" another addition to my FGF list.
    She used to work in the Diamond check-in at Harrahs, but transitioned to a non-customer facing position at Linq.
    First thing in the morning, and all the systems were trying to log into the system, and of course, it crashed. However, it was back up in a few minutes and my issue got resolved. Points restored.
    Now, off to Bellagio to meet a Local friend for lunch at Noodles, the Chinese casual restaurant.
    Sorry, no pictures from lunch. I had won ton noodles with duck, "J" had char siew with rice. We split pot stickers. I had $50 resort credit from mLife and a gift card, and paid for the meal with those. I put my other gift card away and I'll charge things to the room.

    Dropped about $700 waiting for "J". Playing those FOB machines at $8.80 a pull can really take a toll if you're not having any luck.

    We finished lunch at 11:45, just In time for my 12:00 appointment for Yayoi Kuzama's exhibit at BGFA.
    I'm gonna save that for the next chapter.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018
    First trip of 2019 - my birthday
    OK, so I lied. Couldn't pass up the FP offer. Lake Tahoe.
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    • Love Love x 1
  18. luck.ofthe.draw

    luck.ofthe.draw VIP Whale

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    Congratulations on the handpay! That WoF game looks neat too!
     
  19. DaiLun

    DaiLun R.C., L.C., and A.A.N.G.

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    Well, a half an hour and I realize that I'm not really sleepy, just sore from all of the standing around.

    "J" went with me to The Kusama exhibit. It was sold out, but he bought a "locals" membership, which got him "in" to the 12:00.

    For those of you who are attending the exhibit, here's how it works:

    They have "groups" each hour, and they let each group in for a 45 second view of the "Infinity" exhibit.

    You stand in line, and one (or two) of you are admitted to the exhibit, which is a room about 20 feet on each side.

    It's difficult to describe, and the pictures don't do it justice, but here are some pictures
    upload_2018-12-1_17-5-14.png
    upload_2018-12-1_17-5-28.png
    upload_2018-12-1_17-5-40.png
    Imagine if you will standing between two mirrors facing each other, and looking at the infinite images as you look into one .
    mirror. That's what this is like, but it's 5 sided. The floor is opaque, but the 4 walls and ceiling are all mirrored, with candlelights.
    You see what you need to in 45 seconds.
    Then there is another of her exhibits.
    upload_2018-12-1_17-8-53.png
    upload_2018-12-1_17-9-11.png
    upload_2018-12-1_17-9-44.png
    Then it was over.
    We then walked the loooonnnnggg walk to the Tower Ballroom.
    For those of you who attend both GGWU and HGS, I consider the HGS ballroom exhibit more "upscale". Kind of like the different between Wal-mart and Target, where GGWU is Wal-mart and HGS is Target. At HGS there were at least 3 open bars where drinks were being served.
    I had a peppermint martini.
    upload_2018-12-1_17-12-3.png
    That may not have been a good idea for a person who doesn't drink alcohol regularly, since it affected me for the next 3 hours. I only had one because the woman behind me remarked on "how good it was." Yes, it was tasty.
    So, I decided to get all of my HGS points In Free Play, which totaled $1650 and I had enough left over to let "J" and me play in the slot tournament.
    Five minute sessions. I did better, but less than 10,000 points, which is what I figured would crack the top 20.

    I let "J" go on, as the martini was really affecting me. There were few places to sit and it took me some time to make it back to the car.

    I decided to go back to GGWU. I "found out" that it was "S" birthday tomorrow and I wanted to give her a present. OK, for those of you who are "tempted" to give any casino employee a "cash" gift. DON'T. IMHO, Asian Marketing works a little differently, but even though "S" is Asian, she's not part of Asian Marketing so she politely refused my red envelope and I'm gonna have to give it to her another time. She was surrounded by her colleagues, and I guess it wasn't a discreet gift giving time.

    OK, it's now 5:15 and I'm officially "done" GGWU - DONE, HGS - DONE. $1650 FP on my mLife account, which the HGS people told me was good for 18 months, and was global. I will tell my buddy that got his twice.

    So, I have a buffet dinner left at Silverton, I have about $20 left on my resort credit at mLife, pork belly ramen may be for lunch tomorrow at Momofuku. I'm not really hungry right now, so I think I'll go downstairs and "cash convert some of my free play. I should be able to make back some of the $700 I dropped at Bellagio. Still "up" for the trip.
     
    First trip of 2019 - my birthday
    OK, so I lied. Couldn't pass up the FP offer. Lake Tahoe.
    • Like Like x 2
  20. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Nice hit on the lord of the rings!