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Better late than never Trip Report 06/01 to 06/09 - very long...

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by MacMaroon, Aug 26, 2007.

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  1. MacMaroon

    MacMaroon Tourist

    Apr 2, 2005
    Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:

    My Trip Report

    Friday, June 1st, 2007 to Sunday, June 3rd, 2007

    For my mother’s seventy-fourth birthday, I surprised her with a trip to Las Vegas. Since she does not like to fly, we had to drive from Winnipeg Manitoba Canada. It took two-and-a-half days to drive the 1900 miles, with stops in Miles City Montana and Ogden Utah before seeing the skyline of Sin City (smog and all).

    We arrived at the Gold Coast around 2:00pm local time, and there was no one in line at the check-in. I had booked the “Mustang Mike's Midweek Special†which worked out to be $50 a night (plus tax) along with two free breakfast and dinner buffets (which I had to remind them to receive). Other than that, everything went quickly and smoothly, and we were on our way to our room in no time.

    Please see my review of the Gold Coast by clicking on the following link:

    While we were unpacking our luggage, I received a phone call. It was the front desk letting me know they had made a mistake, they were supposed to give us four free breakfast and dinner buffets, since we were staying five nights. I was pleasantly surprised, but when I went down to get them, the line-up at the hotel desk was almost out the door. So we decided to do a bit of gambling before having our free buffet dinner.

    It was Steak Night at the Ports O’Call Buffet, and the steak was done the way I like it (well done), and it was absolutely delicious. The rest of the buffet was nothing special, but it was fresh and it tasted very good.

    After the buffet, we went to gamble some more before heading to our room for the night.

    Monday, June 4th, 2007

    We both got up early, around 4:00am local time (6:00am Winnipeg Time) and decided to do a bit of gambling. I played some quarter 9/6 Jacks-or-Better and won $20 and then played penny Hoot Loot and won $44.00, while my mother played various machines and held her own.

    We had our free buffet breakfast at the Gold Coast, and it was very good. We lucked out by finding this buffet at Christmas, and have not had breakfast anywhere else in Las Vegas since.

    After breakfast, we headed out for the long drive to Oatman Arizona, a small mining town near Laughlin to see the wild burros. I didn’t know what to expect, so we bought just a small bag of carrots to feed them. When we arrived, there were about ten of them, including two babies, eagerly awaiting the suckers with the free food. Both my mom and I enjoyed feeding them, but some were a bit pushy, and one even tried to eat all of the carrots at once, bag and all! I made the mistake of feeding one of the babies, and was scolded by one of the locals. She said that they don’t have teeth yet, so they can’t chew. I felt very bad, but I will know for the next time. It was getting very hot, so we decided we would check out the rest of the town at Christmas time during our next Vegas trip.

    For pictures of our visit to Oatman, please click on the following link:

    We then headed to Laughlin to do some gambling. My mother wanted to visit the casino we stayed at the first time we came to the area, so we went to the Gold River (now called the River Palms). My mom did not enjoy the casino, as it did not have any of the machines that she liked. We quickly left the River Palms and headed back to Las Vegas.

    We ended up at the Sunset Station casino and joined their slot club, earning $3 each as a bonus for signing up. The casino is huge with lots of machines, but no Jacks-or-Better machines. After playing a while, we decided to eat at their buffet. We found out that they do not close for the customary one hour between meal changes, so we paid for lunch $7 (plus tax) with our Boarding Pass slot card and the Pocketbook of Values 2-for-1 buffet coupon. The meal was excellent with quite a large selection. Both my mother and I went for the delicious turkey and gravy (yum yum), and we had some real hard ice cream for dessert! It was a great value for the price! After dinner, we gambled some more and my mother won $40 playing the machines in front of the buffet entrance.

    We returned to the Gold Coast and gambled a bit before heading to the room for the evening to watch the NHL playoffs.

    Tuesday, June 5th, 2007

    We got up early again and gambled before breakfast. I lost the money that I had won the previous morning, but my mother held her own. Once again, the buffet was excellent. It’s very simple, but that’s all we want.

    After going back to our room and finding the bathroom light not working, I called maintenance to get it fixed. We left before they arrived and decided to go downtown. Both of us started at Main Street Station and worked are way through the California and then the Vegas Club. My mother was not having a good time, so I suggested we head back to the Sunset Station, and she quickly agreed!

    Before heading there, we stopped in at the 99 cent store across the street from the Sunset Station and bought a few items. When we finally arrived at the casino, my mother picked a penny Butterfly machine to play, and she was there for over three hours and did not lose! I walked around trying to find a machine that would pay, but with no success.

    We ate at the Feast Buffet, but I forgot my coupon book so we had to pay full price. It was still cheap to pay for lunch and eat dinner (as we did yesterday)! Once again, it was delicious, and I will have to remember to come back here during our Christmas trip. After dinner, we gambled at the slots in front of the buffet again. My mother played the same machine she did the day before and held her own!

    We got tired and headed back to the Gold Coast. We played some more, and my mom found another penny butterfly machine to play. She had it down to 18 cents, then won $20 and cashed out! We then went back to our room to find the light in the bathroom fixed!

    Wednesday, June 6th, 2007

    We got up early again and began to gamble. While my mother played the Butterfly machine, I walked over to the vacant Rio to gamble some money on the Total Rewards cards. The points were to have expired at the end of the month, so I wanted to make sure they didn’t. I was losing big time until I played Hoot Loot and broke even.

    For breakfast we once again went to the Ports O’Call buffet, which was as good as the previous two days, and used the POV 2-for-1 coupon.

    After breakfast, we drove to the World’s Largest Souvenir Store across the street from the Sahara. We each bought a 2008 Las Vegas Calendar and were surprised to find two security guards (complete with trooper hats) at the door to check our bags.

    We then drove to Terrible’s Casino and joined their slot club. We each received a free t-shirt, 1000 points, and a coupon book! Not bad for just signing up! We played a bit before my mom’s machine malfunctioned. I tried to get someone to fix it, and when a maintenance person came, he had no idea what he was doing. He randomly pushed buttons, opened the machine, gave it a few pushes, and then rebooted it. He then closed the door and gave my mom the go ahead to play. Well, she cashed out and we left right away. If they don’t know what they are doing, that doesn’t instill confidence in their machines.

    We then drove to the Flamingo to see the Wildlife Habitat. We were going to do it at Christmas, but never got around to it. We were so looking forward to seeing the penguins, but when we arrived, they had been moved to Dallas? Isn’t it just as hot there? Anyway, we were disappointed and headed to Harrah’s…

    For pictures of our visit to the Flamingo Wildlife Habitat, please click on the following link:

    At Harrah’s we got tickets to see the Mac King Magic Show using our POV coupon. It ended up costing under $20 for the two of us and included a free beverage of our choice. The show wasn’t until later, so we went over to the Imperial Palace to see the automobile collection. I used the free coupons I printed from the Internet and had to cash them in at the rewards desk before heading back to the parking garage. When we finally arrived at the collection, most people were paying to get in, so I was happy to get in for free! If you like old cars, this museum is a must, as there were hundreds of different cars to view. If you don’t like old cars, it’s a good way to pass the time, especially if you have free coupons…

    For pictures of our visit to the Imperial Palace Auto Collection, please click on the following link:

    After viewing the cars, we went back to Harrah’s and gambled until the doors opened for Mac King. We ended up getting seats up front, but my mother wanted to sit further back, so we were moved. The show was about seventy-five minutes long and was absolutely fantastic! Mac King did all sorts of tricks involving ropes, cards, and fig newtons! Both my mother and I enjoyed the show and it was well worth the discounted ticket price we paid. We would certainly go back, even if we had to pay full price!

    After the show, we headed down to the Green Valley Ranch for their buffet. We just got in at the lunch price of $9.99 (plus tax) with my POV 2-for-1 coupon. We felt the food was the same as the Sunset Station buffet, except for some seafood selections. We enjoyed it, but would not be back as we felt uncomfortable at the casino (a little too posh for us). We ended up going back to the Sunset Station to gamble, and we each earned a Gold Boarding Pass card for reaching 500 points.

    After gambling a while, we headed back to the Gold Coast and watched the Stanley Cup finals in our room. The Ottawa Senators lost :p

    Thursday, June 7th, 2007

    We both decided to sleep in a little longer this morning, but still managed to get in some gambling before breakfast. I managed to win $20 playing penny Monster Mansion and my mother held her own on the butterfly machine.

    We used the POV 2-for-1 coupon at the Ports O’Call breakfast buffet and it was as good as usual. After breakfast, we used one of the coupons we got when we checked in at the hotel to get a free deck of used casino playing cards.

    My mom decided to stay at the Gold Coast today, so I thought I would take a walk to The Strip. From our hotel room, it took about thirty minutes for me to briskly walk to Caesar’s Palace. If I was to walk at a normal pace, it would have taken between 45-60 minutes, so I would recommend taking the free shuttle from either the Gold Coast or Rio Hotels.

    Once on The Strip, I took quite a few pictures and ended up walking down to the MGM Grand and back. I did stop into one of the souvenir shops and picked up five t-shirts for ten dollars, which I though was a pretty decent deal! When I got back to Flamingo Road, I took the shuttle from Bill’s to the Gold Coast, as I was very tired from the walk.

    For pictures of my walk to The Strip, please click on the following link:

    I managed to find my mother and she said she had lost $60. We went and got some free ice cream using another one of the coupons from the Gold Coast book. It was quite a large scoop and we both thought it was very good! We ended up going back to gamble, and I played nickel 8/5 Jacks-or-Better for over an hour on five dollars.

    We used our last free dinner coupons for Seafood Night at the Gold Coast Buffet. We did not enjoy it, but it was free so how could we complain…

    After dinner we played a bit more and then went to our room. They had a contest called “Take It or Trade It.†Throughout the week we were at the Gold Coast, they gave out tickets to those playing with their Club Coast card to enter a draw to win one of ten $500 prizes. If your ticket was picked, you could take the $500 or trade it for one of five envelopes containing either $100, $200, $500, $2500, or $5000. I received five tickets during the week, and in the morning, it was looking pretty good as the drum was almost empty. But by an hour before the draw, people were depositing hundreds of tickets at a time! I guess I was not going to have a chance… Needless to say, I did not win…

    Friday, June 8th, 2007 to Sunday, June 10th, 2007

    I wanted to leave first thing in the morning, so we decided to eat at the twenty-four hour Monterey Room restaurant. We each had the graveyard special, and while my mom could eat her meal, I had a hard time finishing mine. I had the ham steak with scrambled eggs, hash browns, and toast. I was able to eat the toast, but the ham steak was burned to a crisp, I had to use my steak knife to cut up my crunchy hash browns, and the eggs were so runny, I think they ran the Boston Marathon! We paid the bill and left…

    Checkout was easy since we left so early and I was on the road by 5:00am local time. After stops in Blackfoot Idaho and Miles City Montana, we were back home in Winnipeg by 4:00pm on Sunday.


    My mother truly enjoyed the trip and I was glad. I am already making plans to take her again next year for her birthday!

    I drove a total of 4111 miles in ten days and managed to get over 38 miles per gallon with my little putt-putt (2002 Saturn SL1), including an amazing 41+ MPG through Idaho and Montana.

    It takes forever for the traffic lights to change in Las Vegas, no wonder it is so congested!

    Both the Gold Coast and Sunset Station casinos offered great value for our playing dollar. While we didn’t win, we were able to play for a long time on our money, far longer than on The Strip. In the end I had lost about $250, but my Mom only lost about $100, which was fantastic!

    The Gold Coast Breakfast and the Sunset Station Lunch/Dinner Buffets were fantastic for the price and we would highly recommend them.

    The Club Coast rewards program of earning one point for every dollar won was a bit hard to get used to. Not sure if I liked it, but will find out if and when I receive any mailings/offers.

    For the price, the hotel at the Gold Coast was fine, but that bathroom has to be the smallest I’ve ever seen! We may stay at another property on our next Birthday visit, either at The Orleans, Sunset Station, or South Point.

    Mac Maroon
  2. texas_aggie_girl_93

    texas_aggie_girl_93 VIP Whale

    Mar 9, 2006
    Katy, TX
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Nice report. Thanks for posting.

    I liked staying at the GC ok, but I'm not too sure the front desk knows what's going on half the time. On my last stay at Gold Coast, they neglected to give me my match plays that were included with my offer. When I inquired about it later, they told me the MP's weren't included. Unfortunately I didn't have the email offer with me.

    When I got home, I forwarded them the email and asked that they send me the MP's or have them available to me next time. They weren't able to comply, but they did take $20 off my bill.
  3. gmoney590

    gmoney590 VIP Whale

    Jul 8, 2006
    Tacoma, WA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Wow, 4111 miles :nworthy: I'm not sure I could do that. It sounds like you and your mom had a really good time. I'm like you, I'm not sure if I like the 1 point for every dollar won thing. It seems like you got alot of value for your dollar and that's the only way to do Vegas.
    Let the drunken olympics begin
  4. kenophile

    kenophile Tourist

    May 14, 2003
    Mac Maroon

    Thanks for posting your trip report. I enjoyed it very much--particularly the pictures of the burros and the turtles.

    I agree with gmoney590 about the 4111 miles--I don't even like to drive to the airport!
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