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AC 5x Multiplier 7/26-7/28

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Trip Reports' started by alexm, Jul 29, 2020.

  1. alexm

    alexm High-Roller

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    My Trip Report

    This was a different sort of trip, with the goal of getting Diamond Status for my wife. Our intention was to act like I wasn't even on property. She had no Sunday comps available, but was comped monday at Bally's so we stayed for 2 nights in the Dennis Tower. The room was nice and very clean, smelled of hospital sanitizer, but the layout was strange with the TV to the left of the bed. Overlooking the courtyard was also nice. I'll cover the trip itself first and then gaming at the bottom.

    After rescheduling Vegas from July, the purpose of this trip was to take advantage of the 5 x multiplier and the reduction in points required for Diamond. The goal was 2 1k days and 1 500 point day on her card. My math said that that combination would result in a total of 14625 points, adding that to her 1700 TC and another 900 or so from the room, would easily cover Diamond and get her close enough to plus that we could make it in 1 more day trip. We have an LV trip scheduled in December so hopefully we can knock it out then.

    Sunday drive was easy with almost no traffic. Early check-in fee of 10 bucks was charged but we were in our room before 11am so can't complain at all about that. Check-in was nearly contactless and mask enforcement was 100% inside. Took a peak outside and the beach and boardwalk were fairly crowded. Gambled fairly unsuccessfully until lunch at Harry's (reservations were made Thursday and even then some times unavailable.) Waited in a fairly long line up to check in, but were seated promptly at a table in the shade.

    So many people were furious that they couldn't get tables without reservations, I felt bad for the hostess. She kept trying to offer them times later in the day (like 2 hours away) but people were just angry. I overheard them say, there are currently 18 outdoor dining options on the boardwalk in total. Food was quick and easy.

    We had double booked dinner options with a reservation at Gordon Ramsay at the Pool at Harrah's and also Dock's Oyster House so that we could decide which we preferred based on times and gambling. Opted for walking to Dock's and cancelled Gordon right after lunch. They had a huge tent set up in their parking lot with nice tables, an outdoor piano player and access to their restrooms inside. This is how you make the best of outdoor dining.

    Dock's was exceptional as always, so good in fact we took a 4pm reservation for Monday to go back. Their service is first class and the food was amazing. Also very reasonably priced. We haven't been in a few years since most of our food is comped, but we won't be making that mistake again.

    Sunday we did an online order at Tazza and I was able to bypass a 20 person lineup and just pick up our order to take back to the room. I was floored more people weren't doing this. The lineup there in the morning was never less than 8-10 people that we saw. Dunkin in Bally's however was way worse and didn't have online ordering available.

    Lunch was at Ocean which was easy, we grabbed food from the district and ate in "The Garage". We agreed it was nice to have a place with guaranteed shade and cover, but it was an incredibly small area for them to have closed an entire floor of their parking garage. It could have been bigger, and probably needed a caretaker cleaning tables. Sanitizer and wipes were provided though. Overall it served it's purpose, but could really have been made into something cooler.

    Drinks Monday night were at Harry's, where they have tables pulled up to the bar that are first come first serve. We were able to score on of these and listen to the band. It was a nice end to the trip.

    Gambling:

    This was a bit of a roller coaster trip. Slots almost exclusively for my wife. 50/50 with video poker for me. Normally she plays table games, but given the purpose of this trip she played hardly any tables. Sunday we were doing very well. Knocked out her 1k points by about 4pm. I was up, she was even. So we made a decision to put my card in and put in 1k points for me too (which is my daily average when I'm there.)

    I like that Caesars was giving welcome back RC gifts. She got 10 and I got 25. I also was able to get my FP at both properties Sunday since I was playing. Turned 15 in FP into 150 on a nickle slot right before dinner.

    Didn't quite get to the magic 1k number, but close enough as to not destroy my theo. Also the play was probably 75-80 percent slots so that will help the theo number a little. Overall, I don't think I hurt myself by showing a day of drop in play. My name was not on the room at all, and we didn't even take my card out Monday or Tuesday. Ended the day down a combined 350 from our 3k bankroll

    Monday was a downer early. Tried Ballys and dumped, switched to Caesars and dumped more. Wife was going through the same thing. Finally pulled the trigger and changed to Ocean down about 1k combined. We were definitely on the downside of variance since we only had about 600 points at that point. Wife lost another 150 at Ocean, but I more than made up for it. Turned 100 into 530 on Ultimate Texas Hold'em (first purple chip ever!) and then turned 50 dollars in FP into another 150 thanks to a game with Puffins. Also we were each gifted 2 bottles of wine. - We agreed we might suck it up and pay for a room here in the winter and give them a fair shot to get some offers. We love their food, sports book, game options and space. Our only concern is the distance to everything else if we start to lose (we are casino jumpers to change the karma lol)
    The ocean win jump started our return to Ballys and we held out own and finished our points before dinner.

    After dinner we just slotted around a little, probably pushing to 1250 points for the day on her card. Down a total of about 1k from our 3k bankroll

    Tuesday morning we racked up a quick 500 points and I ended with a Top Hat Bonus for 450. Overall we finished down a combined 800ish, which really stuffs the coffers for our vegas trip.

    On the whole, we were impressed with the cleanliness of the properties, but disappointed in the lack of ingenuity when it comes to crafting dining options and opportunities to eat. They are definitely sacrificing revenue by not being more creative. I think they are hopeful indoor dining returns sooner rather than later, so they are hesitant to make any outdoor investment. Also, with how crowded their hotels were and how not crowded the casinos were, they are definitley raking it in on room fees, which may be why they don't seem to care about other revenue sources.

    We agreed we won't go back without indoor dining and drinks, but mask mandates would not keep us away.

    I'm happy to answer any specific questions anyone has.
     
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  2. VPDeuces

    VPDeuces Low-Roller

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    Thanks for your report @alexm ! Much appreciated.
     
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  3. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the write up, it was an enjoyable read.

    I'm surprised that more of the restaurants don't have those large tents, with all of the weddings and other parties cancelled, I have to believe that the rental companies would welcome a long term deal with a casino restaurant. I can imagine folks being "hangry" (hungry and angry) at a hostess, but did the hostess refer customers to other boardwalk outlets?

    Thanks for the online ordering tip on Tazza. Harry's and Dock's are two of my faves in AC since I don't get a lot of comp $$. The same family that owns Harry's and Dock's also owns the Knife and Fork and they also offer outdoor dining. I just saw an online photo of the Lobster Thermador and it looks delish.

    We had a couple meals at Vagabond which is just off the Black Horse Pike (Rt. 322) just as you get into AC. I spoke to the owner who said that he plans on keeping his tent after this is all over.
     
  4. alexm

    alexm High-Roller

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    @hammie I was surprised that there wasn't more tent options as well. Harry's could have benefited from the tent set up too. The hostess was trying to give people ideas, but food options if you want to sit and not be in your room really were scarce. Options for outdoor near Harry's were the beach bar (which serves Guys BBQ) and Johnny Rockets. At 7 pm on Monday Johnny Rockets had stopped even taking names for tables because they closed at 9 and had over a 2 hour wait. Even the takeout line at 7pm was about 30 minutes to order. The beach bar had no seating and a consistent line too. My surprise was the people who were angry they couldn't just walk up and get seated for a party of 6 at 130 on a Sunday. That's a tough ask in normal conditions.

    The only casino giving you both a decent variety and a semi okay place to eat it was Ocean. They had all of their faster service places open and the space in the garage available for seating.

    My wife said the same thing about Dock's. Given how small it is inside, she thought they might consider keeping the tent option for the summers. I am putting Knife and Fork on our list for our next trip, and we already decided we have to get back to Chef Vola's too, if for nothing but the desserts. The food scene in AC is actually pretty good, which sometimes makes food comps a blessing and a curse lol
     
  5. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    Kind of a funny Knife and Fork story, but we went there several years ago for a special date night, a birthday or anniversary. I had a short rib dish served over mashed potatoes, and the mashed potatoes were so hot, as if someone put them in a microwave oven for about 10 minutes and left them under a heat lamp so a sort of shiny thin crust developed. I dove into the potatoes and almost fused my tongue to the roof of my mouth, they were molten hot!!! Of course my wife thought that was funny as I am gulping water to cool off my forkful of mashed. Then we got a tour of the third floor which was at one time where couples would go after dinner. Men on one side of the room smoking cigars, drinking cognac, and telling lies to each other. The women on the other side drinking tea and socializing among each other. As I made my way down these three tiny steps, I kind of slipped and twisted my ankle, which leads to more guffaws from my wife. I only had one Manhattan, honest judge!

    As for Docks, that place was closed three years ago for about a year and completely renovated and expanded. I hadn't been there pre-renovation, so I have no frame of reference. Both of these places have been around for more than 100 years, so in a business that is prone to the whims the latest fad, their longevity speaks volumes. I'm not sure what Chef Vola's is doing, but that place is so small, the back of your chair is touching your neighbor's in the best of times. They have a possible setup for outdoor dining on the porch.

    If you get back, check out a one year old place called Setaara, it's down the street from the White House. Their cuisine is French-Afghan, a really odd combo, but the food is great and its a byo. I think there are 100 yelp reviews, almost all are 5*.

    One time at Guy's BBQ, my wife and I ordered a rack of ribs plus some sides to go; I had built up some comp dollars. The ribs were falling off the bone good, kind of a dry rub. I would absolutely go back there.

    There is a small Italian place with a bar called Scanniccio's at Lefty's, I think it's on Fairmont, quite a few blocks down from Angelo's Fairmont Tavern (a good red sauce Italian place with a tent in the parking lot). Scanniccios has a takeout menu and also a "family style" menu. We picked up this tray of Chicken Piccatta over Angel Hair pasta, it included bread and a salad for $45. Plenty for 4 good appetites. Across the street from the White House is a place called Barbera Seafood that makes simple fried or broiled platters. They have an 8 oz fried lobster tail for $20.

    The problem with outdoor dining on tables with umbrellas is that its hit or miss when it comes to the sun and weather the umbrella can be positioned to block the sun. There seems to be a decent setup at Tropicana, a place we don't really hear much about on this board. Hooters, Casa Taco, and a few others have outdoor dining. https://www.tropicana.net/restaurants/outdoor-dining
     
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  6. Wallew

    Wallew VIP Whale

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    Thanks for sharing your trip report! Glad you guys had a good time.
     
  7. alexm

    alexm High-Roller

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    @hammie Those stories are awesome. I move the restaurants into a spreadsheet I keep for places to go in AC outside of the casinos. Sometimes it's nice to just get away from them for a break, even if it means "self comping" lol. We did the seafood shack in Brigantine last year and my wife has already told me we must go back.

    I think the tightness of Chef Vola's is all part of the mystique like the "unlisted" phone number and the waiters basically reciting the whole menu for you. I know that it is one of those restaurants people either love or hate. We love it, predominantly because we don't have anything like it anywhere near us. Same with high quality seafood. Best place near us is literally a Red Lobster. Chef Vola's is actually doing take out right now. We contemplated getting some desserts, but were way too stuffed Sunday after Dock's.
     
  8. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    Re: Red Lobster, now I know why you love Harry's or Docks. We still like Red Lobster for the cheddar biscuits and the put out a decent product for a chain. If you see yourself shopping at the Outlet stores, I think you'd like Barbera Seafood. Great little place for take out. Right next to the White House is Pancho's, a Mexican place that is rated as one of the best in the State.

    When you draw a two block radius from the White House, you have Pancho's, Angelo's Fairmont Tavern, Wingcraft (Craft beers, maybe a Gastropub??), Angeloni"s II, Setaara, Maria's Luncheonette (Breakfast), plus the two Bakeries (Formica and A. Rando). A little further out would be Los Amigo's (Mexican on Atlantic Ave.), and Ruth's Chris'. Some pretty good local eats.

    As for Chef Vola's, I saw someone post on a FB page that they are serving on the porch, but it looks like they removed tables. We had dinner on the porch two Decembers ago, it was really good and I'm a fan. I almost fell on the floor when I got a return call confirming my reservation, but I guess there was little demand for a table at 5 pm, ten days before Christmas.

    By the way, Scanniccio's is CASH ONLY.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2020
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