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A 30 day trip to Vegas and points beyond... a semi (no promises) report Jan 21-Feb 21

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by WHITEJACKET73, Jan 24, 2019.

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  1. WHITEJACKET73

    WHITEJACKET73 VIP Whale

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    Well today I decided that I should start my trek home to Minnesota. I made reservations at the Montego Bay casino in West Wendover, Nevada...a little town on the Utah border along I-80. I've heard a lot about Wendover; they have cheap junkets that fly out of my hometown airport a couple of times a month. The drive up and over the mountain pass was not quite the ordeal as when I came into Tahoe, but the road was covered with a thick coat of hardened icy snow in many places. Once I started east of Reno the traffic thinned out considerably; mostly commercial truck traffic. I drove for several hours and never saw a tree; wide open country. I had to climb through a couple of mountain passes, but the roads were clear and I made good time.

    My hotel room is very nice with a huge flat screen TV, Keurig coffee maker and refrigerator. I have a nice view of the snow covered mountains. When I checked in, I received a coupon booklet. After I received my players card, I showed them my coupon for up to $100 in free play. The boothling told me that I had to put 10 tier credits on my card first....no problem. I stuck $20 in a BP 7/5 machine and played; but nothing showed up on my players screen to tell me how many tier credits that I was accumulating. I played for a while then busted out. I went to my account and I had 3 lousy tier credits and I know I put at least $100 coin in....this is not good. I went back to the players club and asked the boothling about how much coin in is required for slot and VP play. A "suit" walked up and stood beside her. She explained that each machine was different. I looked at her and then looked straight at the Suit and said, "Oh, so it's like the Boyd properties....that's not good." She told me that they had a "Break the Bank" promotion today and I should swipe my card at the kiosk for some free play. I swiped and received $15 FP which the VP machine quickly ate up...boy these machines are tight. I put another $20 in a Buffalo Gold machine and in less than five minutes that too was history. I had a $5 matchplay from the coupon book so I bet on black at roulette....16 red. Finally I walked to the bar and gave the bartender my free drink coupon and ordered a gin and tonic....what I got was definitely not Hendrick's. I was going to play some blackjack but after cruising the tables and watching some of the players I decided to call it a day.

    Tomorrow I will be on the road for a nine hour drive or so. Once I get by a couple of mountain passes east of Salt Lake, I should be in the clear...I hope. I want to end up in Sidney Nebraska by the end of the day. Why Sidney of all places you ask? Cabela's first store opened in Sidney way back when, and it's a nice store. My hunting buddies and I used to stop there on our way out or on the way back from elk hunting near Steamboat Springs, Co. They usually have a large collection of used guns for sale. I am still in the market for 20 Gauge double barrel shotgun for grouse hunting; so I will give Cabelas a look and see if I can find something.

    I talked to my son again tonight and he wants to move away from Minnesota. He is fed up with all the snow...they are supposed to get another 5-7 inches tomorrow and more this weekend. He said it has to be more than a coincidence that ever since I left it has been snowing. He even said, "You left Vegas and the next day it snowed there too." He said it will quit snowing once I am back in Rochester....we will see.
     
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  2. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Have a safe trip home! Thanks for the report!
     
  3. imjbs

    imjbs Tourist

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    Safe travels. The Cabela's in Sidney is a great store - and the last time in there the used gun collection was quite large. As a born and raised Nebraskan - enjoy your time in our state and hope you beat the snow home!
     
  4. Flowers

    Flowers VIP Whale

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    Your journey has been so special to read, really experience. You have a poetic writing style that I don't think is intentional on your part but that I absolutely love. Thank you for continuing to take us with you on this very special trip and safe travels back home.
     
  5. SteveO

    SteveO Low-Roller

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    Since it's now the day after, I hope your travels today are safe and thanks for taking us along on your trip.
     
  6. Rumdranker

    Rumdranker Grateful Lurker

    Joined:
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    I must say this was a great read/ journey I enjoyed that you traveled solo but weren't alone. Really cool pictures too.
     
  7. zerofan

    zerofan VIP Whale

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    Epic trip report - I am exhausted and happy to go home after 4 nights in Vegas. You did very well with all that traveling and hotel hopping.
     
  8. Big dan

    Big dan High-Roller

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    Yeah, those machines at Montego Bay can be brutal at times. They have 8/5 bonus poker throughout the casino, you must have been playing at the main bar I'm guessing. Thanks for the report it was a good read.
     
  9. pebbles

    pebbles VIP Whale

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    Hope you got home safely. I enjoyed your report.
     
  10. WHITEJACKET73

    WHITEJACKET73 VIP Whale

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    I was worried about the road conditions going through a couple of mountain passes east of Salt Lake City, but my fears were for naught as the roads were in great shape. Once I drove into western Wyoming the winds really picked up and were blowing a brisk 40-60 MPH. The snow was blowing across the road in some places that visibility dropped to only being able to see 100 yards ahead in the road. It was a long, cold boring drive across Wyoming, but I arrived in Sidney around 5 pm. The hotel was a big disappointment; as the inept clerk could not find my reservation and he had trouble activating my key cards for the door to my room. The room was down the hall a ways, so I decided to drive my car down and use the side entrance. I put the card into the slot to open the entrance door and nada....tried again....zilch. Okay, I'll try the other card....nope. I stood out in the cold howling wind for 5 minutes trying to get the card keys to work. I trudged back to the hotel desk and the clerk fumbled with the cards for a couple minutes and then gave them back to me with a smile and said, " You are all set, buddy. They should work just fine now." I walked back outside and tried the card in the door slot once again....struck out again....grrr. I parked the car back by the lobby entrance and toted by bags down the hall to my tomb....I mean room. The room was small and dark....the light fixtures must have had 25 watt bulbs...I could have grown mushrooms in that room. I checked the bed for bugs then then cracked open a beer.

    I ate at a Perkins restaurant down the road and then made my way over to the Cabela's store. The place was empty except for the employees. Their used gun collection was pretty slim. The shotguns looked beat up and abused by their former owners....I'll pass. I went back to my cell...err...room and another beer and read for a while. The fan on the heating unit was loud so I had to turn off the heat in order to get to sleep. They charge $1.50 for their in room safe which is a joke. The unit is not even bolted/secured to the floor or wall. A thief could easily pick the whole unit up and walk away with it.

    The drive across Nebraska was uneventful except I started to smell cows. I spent a lot of my early summers working on my grandfather's farm which included herding cows and milking them by hand....I know what they smell like. I looked all around but all I could see was open countryside. After about three or four miles I passed a huge feed lot operation with hundreds of cattle....wow....intense smell. I arrived in Council Bluffs, Iowa around 3:30pm. Their are two Harrah owned casinos.....

    Having connection issues right now..Will finish report tomorrow when I am home....I'll tell you about my Royal!
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2019
  11. Flowers

    Flowers VIP Whale

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    That hotel and room and the desk guy all sound like a collective hot (or cold) mess. Sorry you had that experience though reading about it was pretty funny. Glad you are moving along nicely now without bad driving weather.
     
  12. Ventura_Highway

    Ventura_Highway Tourist

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    This is a great trip report! Love all of the different spots you were able to visit along the way
     
  13. WHITEJACKET73

    WHITEJACKET73 VIP Whale

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    D7D074EA-05B1-4DD4-9774-5780491D7BFD.jpeg 4A6D1C1F-EA38-4E73-9D61-1125ABC9E7FA.jpeg C8011FF3-A911-4927-B612-0263D15479AE.jpeg F

    When you hit a premium quad the coins come flying across the screen
     
  14. Horseplayer1

    Horseplayer1 High-Roller

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    Great report! Yeah those flight/hotel trips to Wendover are cheap for a reason.We did one and stayed at Montego also. Machines SUPER tight and cocktail service practically nonexistent. Free drinks are well drinks and are pretty bad. We finally figured out if we went over and sat in the sports book area, we got quick service. To make matters worse, they had a fire alarm go off at one am and everyone had to go outside down the stairs. Never again.
     
  15. gailtherese

    gailtherese Upper Middle Class ?!

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    Looks like Omaha across the river!
     
  16. WHITEJACKET73

    WHITEJACKET73 VIP Whale

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    Sorry about that; Harah's WiFi is not the best. Okay, there are two Harrah's casinos in Council Bluffs--the Horseshoe and Harrah's. I had a third floor river view room overlooking the river and the Omaha city skyline. The rooms are nice and of decent size; my room was at the end of the hall so it was very quiet. I showered, changed clothes and drove over to the Horseshoe to talk to someone about my General Managers club problem. This is a lounge that is separate from the diamond lounge and is for 7 star and diamond card holders with over 45,000 tier credits. I hit a little over 45,000 points last year, but when I was in Kansas City last month at the beginning of this saga the lady at the diamond lounge desk told me that they had raised the tier level to 50,000 credits late last year, so I was only good to the end of January of this year......
    WHAT??

    I told her that I had no notification of the change....she just shrugged and said they put up a sign in the casino about the change. I decided that when I got to Council Bluffs that I would speak to marketing or to a host. I stopped at the TR desk and they said to go to the diamond lounge to see the host on call. The lady at the diamond lounge desk asked if she could help before calling a host for me. I took a deep breath and related what the lady in Kansas City told me and how I thought that it was unfair that I received no notice of the change in the rules. She smiled as she patiently listened to my story and then very politely told me that the lady in Kansas City was full of shit. There had been no changes in the tier level requirement and that my status was good til the end of January next year. I am good to go.

    The GM lounge is pretty sweet. The food is a step above what you get in the diamond lounge, and the desserts are first rate. I had a couple of their peanut butter cookies and they tasted like they just came from the bakery shop. Only drawback is that they don't carry Hendrick's gin....but I will live with that. I think that I will make several overnight(comped) trips to Council Bluffs this year to take advantage of this lounge. I dined on a nice tossed salad with all the fixings, a baked potato and a juicy pork chop. After dinner I played some 7/5 BP in the high limit room, playing eight hands at a time and put several tier on my card. I hit a couple of quads including aces. I walked past the table gaming area and saw four guys at a craps table...it was a crapless craps table. Next to that table was an empty regular craps table and the dealers were just patiently standing around. Can't figure why they would play at a table with a higher house edge when a better table is 5 feet away.

    I went back to Harrah's and found a triple play 7/5 BP machine way back in the far corner of the casino. I played for a while and was not doing very well and almost decided to pull the plug and find another machine to play when I was dealt the Ace, Jack, Ten of clubs. No big deal, I have had 3 to the royal dealt to me a lot this trip and have not come close. I hit the deal button and up popped the King and Queen to fill in my second royal of the trip...what a nice way to end things. I played for quite a while after that as the machine "heated up" and I put over 500 points on my card before things cooled down. I cashed out at $1060 to end the gambling for this trip.

    This morning I had a slow start as there was an accident on the interstate at a critical exchange and it tied up traffic for about 30 minutes. I looked in my rearview mirror and the line or cars/trucks stretched back for a long, long way. After that it was smooth sailing back to Rochester. I usually stop at Diamond Jo's casino which is just off of I-35 just south of the Minnesota/Iowa border. However since it is a Boyd owned property I cruised by without slowing down and made a hand gesture as I passed.

    EPILOGUE:
    This has been quite the adventure, I did not think that I could pull this off without cutting things short. Looking back I did a hell of a lot of gambling...solo and with my two friends MadMad Mike and San Diego Dave. I visited the Bellagio conservatory, their art gallery, made several visits to Hogs and Heifers, made a quick tour of the downtown container park, took a couple of water taxi rides, hiked in the VOF, visited Bonnie Springs Ranch, had a wine flight at the Rio wine cellar, saw three shows and didn't pay a dime, visited with Valeria several times, dined at BLT steak and Friday's Station, ate way too many coney dogs, sweated bullets going over the mountain pass into Tahoe, read one book about Vegas and have nearly completed reading my book on World War One, hit two Royal flushes and had a very good time.....I am exhausted.

    I spent this afternoon shoveling snow from my driveway and sidewalk, going through a month's worth of mail, paid some bills, went grocery shopping....yup it's back to reality. I had a funny message on my answering machine from the utility company...they said that my water meter stopped working(I had turned off the water to the house while I was gone) and they wanted me to call them about coming out to replace the meter. I have often thought about renting a townhouse/condo in Vegas for the winter. This extended trip has made me give pause and think further on this.

    I want to thank everyone that has been following along for the past month and I appreciate all the kind comments. I'll be taking a hiatus from Vegas for the next couple of months. I will be going to the Kentucky Derby again this year....it's not a cheap undertaking, but is an unique and exciting adventure....the best two minutes in sports. The Four Queens sent me a tempting offer for a VP tournament in early April...free entry, free room, complimentary breakfasts and a free gift.....hmmmm. Thanks again, and maybe we'll do this again next year.
     
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  17. WHITEJACKET73

    WHITEJACKET73 VIP Whale

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    Uff Da
     
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  18. archie

    archie Tourist

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    good read,thanks for sharing.
     
  19. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Very nice finish! Congrats!
     
  20. GamblingGolfer

    GamblingGolfer VIP Whale

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    A very interesting trip! Thanks for taking us along!

    GG
     
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