Trip Report 05/18/21-05/22/21 – South Point First trip this year and I was joined by two friends (Tony and Jim) who were there the same days but traveled on a different airline. Packing alerted my cat Bryzzo (can you tell I’m a Cubs fan?) who was none too pleased that I was going somewhere. Air United round trip from Chicago. I decided to avoid the crowds in coach and use some of my miles to fly first class on United out of O’Hare. United canceled the original flights I booked and changed each to about an hour and a quarter earlier. So, my 10:20am outbound was moved to 9:00, meaning I would have a nice early rousing at 4:30. It had been quite a while since I flew out of O’Hare so I wanted to allow plenty of time for the drive and also since I wasn’t sure how often the offsite parking shuttle would run. Turned out it took less than an hour to get from home to the lot and the shuttle was waiting and I got to the airport around two hours early. There was no one in line at the TSA precheck line so I had plenty of time to sit and wait for my flight. My United charge card provides two Club admissions per year so I used one so I could sit in comfort and enjoy some very uninspired breakfast fare. As I was standing at the gate, the first one in line for Group 1 boarding, some jackass comes and stands in front of me. Seriously(?), I muttered into my mask. What a ******. I didn’t really care since I knew there would be no problem storing my bag but it still was a bit annoying. So, Mr. ******bag gets on first and, of course, he is sitting right next to me. I was tempted to ask if getting in front of me helped but it wasn’t worth having any conflicts. We left on time and arrived 15-20 minutes early. BTW, this was a completely full flight. Guess the travel explosion has begun. We were offered drinks and a snack. No issues with the service. The return flight (1:20pm) left on time and arrived a couple minutes early. Drinks and snack boxes were the choice. This flight was also full. Local Transportation The South Point Shuttle was back in service as of the end of April. I booked the 11:00 shuttle, which was a bit aggressive since my flight wasn’t due in until 11:02. But getting in early gave me about 13 minutes from the gate to get to the shuttle. I knew I could make that so off I went down the long corridor to the very tall escalator and then quickly over to the tram to Terminal 1. All was working and I had five minutes to get from the tram to the shuttle, easy peasy (so I thought). Off the tram and right to the escalators down to baggage claim. Except the escalators were closed off. As I stood there trying to figure out which way to walk, about 100 other folks joined me. Finally, I was able to extricate myself from the horde and got an elevator down. Now with about 1 minute to spare, I ran to the escalator to level 0 and as I exited the door, I saw the shuttle driver starting to close the door. I hollered to him and he was nice enough to let me board. A $5 tip said thanks. Took the 11:45 shuttle back to the airport for my 1:20 flight and made it in plenty of time. Hotel South Point – Since I was arriving before noon, I called from O’Hare to see if they could block a room for me with my preferences. First call I was told no, second call I was told it shouldn’t be a problem. I did end up on a high (22nd) floor and near the elevator but my view was of nothing and I was given a handicap room, which I hate. But after making the trek from the front desk I was not going to bother to try to change rooms. Plus, there was gambling to get to. Why go I hate the handicap rooms? Here are some pix of the bathroom. There is no counter space; there isn’t a separate room for the sink and shower area, and I defy you to tell me where one is supposed to hang a towel so you can get to it after showering. Thus, me putting the luggage cart in the bathroom. My room and breakfast charges were comped off by Roxanne Kraemer, my host. Roxy has done a great job for me and as always, I gave her a gift card to thank her and she was very appreciative, as am I. Weather was surprisingly cool as it stayed well below 80 and was about 10 degrees cooler than it was back in Chicago, not that it mattered. Maid service was on demand and I called once during my stay and all was changed out and restored nicely. I tipped the maid $5 that day and $10 when I left. The hotel was quite crowded as there is a large ongoing bowling tournament going on so the food places were pretty crowded. What wasn’t crowded, surprisingly, was the new Starbucks. I asked at the desk if they would honor the Seattle’s Best coupons, since I still had some good through the end of this year. She said no and that they wouldn’t even discount for SP employees. And, not surprisingly, there is no Starbucks coupon in the current SP coupon book. Yet one more reason to hate Starbucks. They do have a coupon for a BOGO for a Krispy Kreme doughnut at the bowling center snack bar. Much better option than the Bucks. Here's some pictures of the new layout for the Starbucks and Kate’s Korner. Entertainment Nope. Dinners Let me start by apologizing to Westie as I consistently forgot to take pictures so there is sadly, no food porn in this report. Feel free to look up my old reports as many of my dinners tend to be the same each trip. Night 1 ended up at the Buffet (3.5 forks). I had some sushi, baby shrimp cocktail, prime rib, pork tenderloin and stuffing. All were tasty and everything is now staff served. Desserts were pretty uninspiring. We got in line around 5:30 and were seated within 10 minutes. I used the ACG free buffet with 300 points coupon (thanks to Jenaphir and Alan for contributing to the Bob SP coupon stash). Night 2 was at Baja Miguel’s (4.5 forks). I had the carne asada tampiquena, which is a skirt steak smothered in grilled chipotle onions and includes a cheese enchilada, beans and rice and the chips and dips. I know Tony had the carne asada nortena, which is a ribeye steak topped with peppers and cheese. I don’t remember what Jim had but we were all very pleased. My meal was under $25 and was comped off by one of the pit bosses. Night 3 was at Don Vito’s (4.5 forks). My Vegas buddy Fredo joined us for this dinner. I used the ACG free appetizer coupons so we each got a freebee and we also used SP coupons for two bottles of house wine. My stuffed clams were excellent. I think Fredo and Tony also had those and Jim had a shrimp cocktail. For dinner, Tony Jim and I each had the cioppino which was huge and excellent. Fredo had the braised veal cannelloni. Soup or Caesar salad is included. I had the salad which was fresh and good. No desert and my $50 comp easily covered the cost. Night 4 was at the Silverado Steakhouse (5 forks). This, as damn near always, was the final night’s dinner. We used a SP coupon for more free wine. I secured a $60 comp, which was more than what I needed. Dinner was excellent. Per my usual, I got the French onion soup which is absolutely the best anywhere and the small (8 ounce) filet cooked medium rare as ordered. Tony and Jim each had one of the ribeye steaks. They seemed a bit fatty but that’s to be expected from a ribeye. Dinner comes with a very good baked potato and house salad. The bread basket is also one of my favorites as it includes raisin bread and pretzel rolls. Service was, as always, excellent. For the price (even if I had to pay), this is a great dinner. Other Meals We went twice to the breakfast buffet which was good, and once to the Café which was also pretty good. The hot dog cart was usually quite crowded but I did manage to get a couple of dogs which were as good as ever. I got a quick bagel at the Deli once but that was about it. Gambling The story here was three decent days could not make up for one really bad day. I had hoped that the Covid restrictions of three per table would still be in place but that ended the night before my arrival, which answered my question of why are there so many people at the tables. They were still wiping down the table area when a player left but masks were strictly optional and there were five players per bj table. I’m guessing it was due to the bowling crowd but SP raised the minimum on most all of the DD games to $15 for much of the time I was there. They are continuing to deal the cards face up but with all DD rules. One dealer told me he expects they won’t go back to pitching the cards face down as they are getting about 40% more hands played per hour. Not sure that’s realistic if they are measuring three people per table vs the standard of five. Less people will mean more hands per hour so I have doubts about that statistic being valid. Some of the best dealers here are Sam, David, Carlos, Joshua, Heidi and DJ. Here are my day by day results: Day 1 – BJ – 6 hours, - $175, VP - 651 points + $216: total + $41 Day 2 – BJ – 4 hours - $745, VP – 1,147 points - $187; total - $932 Day 3 – BJ – 8+ hours + $150, VP – 157 points - $50; total + $100 Day 4 – BJ – 7+ hours + $105, VP – 817 points - $50, baseball bet - $30; total + $25 Day 5 – VP – 1,215 points + $50 Combined Total – BJ - $665, VP – 3,987 points - $21, baseball - $30; Grand Total - $716 The sad thing, other than day 2, was that on days 3 and 4, I was probably $500 up at bj but stayed well past when I should have left the table. The good streak ended the final hour or two each of those days. I thought about leaving but then figured, what else would I do? I’d probably walk around the tables for 10 minutes and sit down again. Since I was grandfathered in at $10 both of those days, and had a non-smoking table, I couldn’t see changing tables. Oh well. Here are pictures of the good VP hands I hit. That's it. Any questions or comments, fire away. Already looking forward to my next trip but I don't have any dates set yet.