Wifey and I returned from 7 days/nights in Las Vegas a few days ago staying at the Sunset Station Hotel & Casino the first two days/nights (6/12 - 6/13) before moving over to the Green Valley Ranch Resort, Casino & Spa for another five days/nights (6/14 - 6/18). This was our tenth trip to Vegas since May, 2002, our first time staying at Sunset Station and the third time we've stayed at Green Valley Ranch (GVR). You can check out their websites at: http://www.sunsetstation.com http://www.greenvalleyranchresort.com This trip was to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary. We had received an invite in the mail for one of GVR's $10,000 Video Poker Tournaments (Friday, 6/17 - Saturday, 6/18). This included three night complimentary accommodations (Thursday, 6/16 - Saturday, 6/18) and one entry into the Video Poker Tournament with no buy-in. We also received a calendar postcard in the mail with reduced rates for other nights. I called GVR and arranged our 5 night stay to include this tournament, plus two additional nights at reduced rates (Tuesday, 6/14 @ $169.00 + tax and Wednesday, 6/15 @ $59.99 + tax). I thought this was a pretty good deal at GVR. We also wanted to check out Sunset Station so I arranged for a two night stay at Sunset Station for Sunday, 6/12 @ $39.99 + tax/fees and Monday, 6/13 @ $49.99 + tax/fees. Casino Marketing at Sunset Station was kind enough to offer us these reduced rates as a courtesy since we had no gambling history at Sunset Station. Day 1 (Sunday, 6/12) We're up by 3:30am and leave the house by 4:45am for a 6:30am flight from Austin, Texas with a one stop layover in Denver. On the flight out we'll be flying Frontier Airlines for the first time. For our return flight, we'll be flying Southwest Airlines. We were hoping to have time to grab a breakfast sandwich at the airport before our flight but that didn't work out as we had hoped. Wifey had to wait quite a while for a shuttle pickup and by the time we got through security and over to our gate, they were about to start boarding. We were scheduled to have about a 55 minute layover in Denver. Somehow we landed in Denver about 35 minutes early so we had a decent breakfast while in Denver. On to Las Vegas. We arrived about 15 minutes late but we knew that even if we made it on time, we wouldn't make the 9:30am free shuttle to Sunset Station. So we had planned to take a taxi and that's what we did. About $30 later (plus tip), we arrived at Sunset Station. We leave our luggage with the bell cap folks and head to the front check-in desk. Our room wasn't ready yet. We're told to check back in about an hour so we walked around a bit before checking out the two areas where the Optimum (full pay) Video Poker machines were located. We're not happy that all their Optimum Video Poker machines (10 near Keno and another 8 near the Oyster Bar) are of the upright variety as opposed to our favorite - the slant tops. Oh well, we're staying at Sunset two nights but when we get to GVR, we can play the slant tops. So we decide to just enjoy ourselves while at Sunset Station. For anyone familiar with the uprights and the slant tops, you know that you can play much more comfortable at the slant tops. The uprights are hazardous to you wrists, hands, elbows, shoulders, etc. Basically, you can't play uprights very long before getting very sore. At 11:10am, we head over to the deuces wild 'optimum' machines and we begin playing side by side. Before long, a waitress comes by and we order our first drinks here at Sunset Station. The drinks were coming fast and furious today (and later this evening). Actually, this was a recurring theme throughout the trip. An hour or so later, I checked on our room and it was ready so I picked up the keys and went back to playing deuces wild. Later this afternoon, we'll check out our room. For now, we're happy to be playing video poker. The only video poker either of us have ever played in a casino is Deuces Wild except for a video poker tournament I played in last December where the game was 'Double Double Bonus' video poker. I practiced a bit of double double bonus over the past month or so but it's certainly not my game of choice. Wifey plays until 3:30pm and decides to check out the room. I keep playing until about 4:20pm. We decided not to completely unpack since we're only here for two nights. We decided to have dinner this evening at Costa Del Sol. The only problem was that we couldn't finish everything on our plate. We had ordered the Trio of Steak, Lobster tail, and Shrimp. Add in the soup and salad bar, a bottle of wine, and we simply could not finish everything. Next time we come to Sunset Station, we'll stick with the soup and salad bar and a bottle of wine. That would be more than enough for us. Back to our video poker machines by 6pm. Wifey decided to head back to the room about 9pm while I played on until about 10:30pm before calling it a night. Day 1 Gambling Summary: Me - down $350.00 (12 'wild royals') Wifey - up $50.00 (9 'wild royals') Day 2 (Monday, 6/13): We both wake up at 2:30am but Wifey isn't ready to get up yet. Okay, maybe it's too early. We finally get up at 3:30am, and head over to the Sunset Cafe for one of their 'before 6am' breakfast specials. We're back at out video poker machines at 5:15am. We both play until 4pm and get ready for dinner. Dinner tonight will be at Capri Italian Ristorante. Dinner was very good. Again, no room for dessert. Back to our video poker machines at 6:30pm. Wifey played till 8:30pm while I stick it out until 10:30. Day 2 Gambling Summary: Me - down $150 today (14 'wild royals', 1 'four deuces'), down $500 overall Wifey - up $250 today (9 'wild royals', 3 'four deuces'), up $300 for the trip Day 3 (Tuesday, 6/14): Today, we're up by 3:30am and hit the deuces wild video poker machines by 4:30am. We figured we'd play a few hours and have breakfast here at Sunset before checking out and grabbing a taxi to GVR. The Sunset Cafe wasn't open all night and since they don't open until 6am, we play deuces wild until then. At 6, we have breakfast and by 6:45am, you can probably guess where we are. We played until 9:15am. Wifey lost $100 this morning while I dropped another $150. We are currently down $450 but still have another 5 days/nights. Hopefully, our bankroll will not run out before the end of our trip. We head up to our room and pack up the suitcases. When I had checked in, I asked at the front desk if upon check-out we could leave our account 'hanging' until customer services reviews our account to see if they could reduce any of the charges based on the gambling we did while at Sunset Station. They said that would not be possible and that I would have to talk to a Casino Host before checking out. So now that we're about to check-out, I called down to speak to the Casino 'Host on Duty' to see if she could reduce our charges based on our gambling play at Sunset. So far this trip (two days), we've accumulated 18,455 points ($36,910 cash through the machines). The host was very nice and told me she would comp us both nights at Sunset, including the additional $4.95 service fee they had added to our room bill for each of the two nights we stayed there. This 'hotel amenity' fee of $4.95 per night is not offered as an option. It's just added to the room charges and entitles guests to the following amenities during their stay. Unlimited use of the exercise room Free unlimited local telephone calls up to 30 minutes per call Complimentary airport and Strip shuttle service Line pass to the Feast Buffet Complimentary admission to The Spazmatics in Club Madrid ($5 value - must be 21 or older) Complimentary notary service Complimentary photocopying (up to 10 pages) Complimentary faxing (up to 10 pages) Complimentary package-handling services I thanked the host and she said to give her a call when we wish to return to Sunset Station. I plan to do just that.