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Conventions are Back, and so am I 6/6-12

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by poidawg, Jun 7, 2021 at 10:08 AM.

  1. poidawg

    poidawg Low-Roller

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    My Trip Report

    So after reading everyone else’s TRs for the past year I’ve decided to do one myself. I haven’t visited my favorite city since February 2020 after going 12 times in 2019, a record for me. The plan was to reacquaint myself with some of my usual hangouts, meet some friends and have a generally low stress vacation. Turns out my pals have a booth at the World of Concrete, the first big convention in Vegas since COVID, so will be there the same week. They are pitching Artificial Intelligence to the construction industry (who knew that was a thing) so I’ll check out the show, mooch some corporate dinners and see what they’re up to. In the meantime I’ll be staying at the Wynn, Bally’s and Mandalay so low rolling my way down the Strip. Also on the agenda:
    • Pinball HOF, Bellagio Poker
    • New hotels Circa Virgin
    • Hawaiian food at The Cal, Bacchanal
    • Various MyVEGAS rewards
    • Sports card show at Sunset Station
    • Pools and MB Beach
    • Have Fun!!
    Definitely can’t do a live TR but will try to keep current as down time and WiFi allow.

    Found this rattler in the backyard.
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    Gotta work at the US Open next week (unless I’m on a lucky run!)
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    Obligatory bye bye to pets
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  2. booker

    booker VIP Whale

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    You had me at Pinball HOF, Bellagio Poker.
    You lost me at Found this rattler in the backyard.
    Okay. The serpent is left behind at home. I'll reconsider and stay for the rest.
     
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  3. poidawg

    poidawg Low-Roller

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    Left San Diego early Sunday morning, a bit more traffic than I’m used to but nothing that can’t be avoided. Made it to Rose St. Vegas Costco in a little under 4 hours (my record is 3.5) with a stop in Barstow where as expected my goto In-n-Out was not open yet. I’m trying to convince myself I need a new self driving car where I just pop onto I-15 and wake up in Vegas. Someday...

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    At Costco I gas up, grab a quick hot dog+drink (still the best deal anywhere), and then go to Walmart for snacks and supplies. Pulling into Wynn the valet is still closed and self parking is full except for the roof. It’s 102 and climbing but I have no choice. I decide to just run in at 1 pm and see if my room is ready and the check in machine says it is! (The line at the front desk is 3 rows deep) Going up to the room, the bad news is it’s lower mid left elevator floor and at the very end of the hall. The good news is it’s a corner room facing Resorts World and I can watch my car cooking on the self park roof.
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  4. drac999

    drac999 High-Roller

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    I love your sense of humor! Will be following along! Have a winning trip and lots of fun!
     
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  5. poidawg

    poidawg Low-Roller

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    Decide to head downtown before meeting the AI convention guys for dinner, the drive down LV blvd is a nightmare, construction and busted roads all the way down. The folks heading back towards the strip are in even worse shape. I get to the Cal and see that the valet is $30 (can’t miss the huge sign) and self park is $25 on Sundays. Since I lost my Sapphire status I’m not sure the rules for validation so just chance it and self park. Inside at the bConn desk I get a new Ruby card and see that I either need to eat or play for a validation. I decide to eat at Market St cafe but not before I check out Circa first and match my Diamond to Maverick mainly for future parking at the Garage Mahal. First impressions of Circa is just WOW, everything so shiny new, swimsuits everywhere and new restaurants, I definitely will be spending time here on my Cal Main St jaunts. Watched my Padres get waxed by the Mets in a very comfortable stadium seat before heading back to California’s Market St. cafe for the 5pm miso butterfish special.
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    Its 4:45 and the diner counter is still closed for CV so I’m seated at a table where I order fried wontons and the server waits 10 minutes before being allowed to bring out my butterfish. If you haven’t had Hawaiian miso butterfish before, it’s a very fatty fish marinated in miso sauce and charbroiled. I’m convinced it’s not super popular with mainlanders because it’s also known as Black Cod or Sablefish and also there’s another butterfish that’s totally different. I’ve had Roy’s and NOBU versions but MSCs is right up there along with their Ox tail soup. Unfortunately, there’s no char on my fish, I like mine burnt, but still good plus I get my parking validated and need to haul azz to Aria to meet my real dinner group.

    099D794E-B2DB-4853-B118-B5CEABDD4221.jpeg 405DBD2A-04AA-4A76-99CF-78FB18FDE02A.jpeg
    D5C3C1B4-0584-4416-8DB8-5A62138DADBC.jpeg C5743CDA-5FAD-4BBE-A0B7-D2C2CC04B2B7.jpeg 2712C3E3-D799-47E7-A74B-792270978CCF.jpeg AI guys want to eat Indian food so we head across the street to Tamba in the Hawaiian marketplace (??????). Of course crossing the Strip requires walking 2 miles but finally we get there and promptly seated. I forgot to take pictures but the food was great, I had samosas tandoori chicken and Naan while they also ordered a spicy Okra dish and some other vegetarian delicacies. My drink was a lemon soda concoction with a dash of salt which was very refreshing after traipsing around in the 100 degree heat. Will definitely consider coming back for Indian in future. On the way back we checked out the Cosmo which was also packed for a Sunday night. I can only imagine the holiday weekend must have been crazy. It’s been a long day and I still need to get my luggage into my room at the Wynn so head back. If we were in our 20s it would have been the start of the evening, but we’re old so a hot shower and nightcap will do. Finally find some covered parking at the Wynn but also find a line to get into the Resort elevators (ugh). Hope this isn’t the new normal or I might never leave my room!
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    First Day Impressions. Vegas is definitely back, maybe too much so. Super crowded for a Sunday and doesn’t look like it’s letting up. Consequently, service is taking a hit as supply can’t keep up. Coronavirus seems to be an afterthought with maybe 20% of visitors with masks while most workers still have them. Also many things have changed so my old Vegas routines and standbys might have to change with them. It’s all good though, just need to revise expectations and plan accordingly to have an amazing week!
     
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  6. Ten_On_The_End

    Ten_On_The_End High-Roller

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    Umm...are they protected ? Asking for a friend.
     
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  7. poidawg

    poidawg Low-Roller

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    Thanks for reading! Writing this on my phone from the pool so no idea what’s coming out the other end.
     
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  8. poidawg

    poidawg Low-Roller

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    the question is if I’m protected. No.
     
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  9. poidawg

    poidawg Low-Roller

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    Started Monday off by hitting the Wynn pool. By 9:45am most of the poolside chairs were occupied where I recall Mondays past where you could choose your spot. Hung out typing this TR before grabbing a small bite (Bacchanal tonight!) and heading to my Groupon massage appointment at Mu Tao Wellness. I’ve been a regular since they opened 5ish years ago and visit every trip. This time however I didn’t realize they opened another facility down Spring Valley road so had to dash to make my appointment after showing up at the wrong place. Got a great 60 min full body, hot stones and defoliate from Tracy which was only slightly spoiled by loud talkers in the hallway. Anyway that really hit the spot and left an exceptional tip.
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    After a little rehydrating, I head to the Rio to pick up my 2021 Caesars cards including a Chinese New Year version left over from February, nice. I also get a notification from Amazon that my package arrived at an Amazon locker at a 7-11 close to the Wynn. This is the first time trying to send packages not to the hotel, in this case pool toys for Mandalay beach. So simple and convenient especially if you have a car and Prime, I’ll definitely do it again maybe even this trip.

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    After 7-11 it’s finally time for the Pinball HOF. I’ve been following its progress online and loved the previous location. The new facility is as good as advertised, another shiny new Vegas Strip landmark. As soon as I enter, the desk attendant grabs me and shuttles me to a CSI pinball machine. 3 free games buddy, the other guy just left! I thank him dizzily and put my tray of quarters on the machine, they slip off and go scattering. This amazing attendant not only scrambles around like purple-haired Spiderman to help pick them up, he then disappears and returns with a barstool to place my quarters and Funyuns on. So this is where superb Vegas service resides! And this guy is probably a volunteer. I should have tipped him with the money I’m saving on valets, I’ll definitely be back this trip.

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    Finally it’s Bacchanal time. I’ve been limbering up like Joey Chestnut all day so I can be ready for game time. As expected the place is packed, reservations only, and I’ve got the AI guys in tow. They’ve been setting up a booth at the convention center all day so ready to chow down. I use one of my Diamond dinners towards the bill and could have used 2, but the conventioneers happily pick up the rest (I hope they remember this at their IPO). I head straight to the seafood for snow crab, shrimp, scallops and mussels followed by landfood - prime rib, tritip, etc... The service is impeccable with someone coming by to refill drinks or clear plates every 5-10 minutes, not quite Pinball level but pretty darn good. Overall I give new Bacchanal an A-, the selection is amazing but quality was not stunning; sushi was sub par, desserts just very good not excellent. With not a lot of buffet competition, I’m sure Caesars will up its game over time... well hoping. Still I have another Bacchanal reservation on Thursday and A- is close to A, so might end up here sooner than later.

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    After dinner we hit the casino for some gaming fun. These techies aren’t big gamblers, after all they calculate odds for a living, but one of the crew hits a Royal on Spin Poker! I ask him whether AI gave him any insight into VP because there are some people who REALLY want to know. He mumbles something about the Random Number generator not truly being random so you CAN induce a predictable outcome blah blah blah... just joking, it was all luck.

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    The luck continues at the Wynn Rewards counter where I go to swap out my old Red Card. I’m mainly at the poker tables so don’t expect squat but the lovely beautiful brilliant attendant says they’re running a special promotion and I am now eligible for Platinum. I play it cool and say “that’s nice” but inside my blurry brain I’m already using that Spa credit and attending tastings of Clams Posillipo with Flowers. Not sure if it was status matching or given more credit at the tables but I certainly wasn’t asking any more questions, take my new cards, and leave as quickly as possible.

    It’s only the first full day and we’ve already had a stellar massage, free pinball, A-list buffet, Royal Flush and Status upgrade. Could Vegas actually emerge BETTER after the shutdown?! I ponder this as I get in line for the Wynn elevator.
     

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  10. Chicken Dinner

    Chicken Dinner Low-Roller

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    Sounds like a great time! But… how did they fit that woman in the locker?
     
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  11. poidawg

    poidawg Low-Roller

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    Haha, inflatable too.
     
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  12. Pe59

    Pe59 Low-Roller

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    I’m already jealous of you and it’s just day one. Keep on living your best life. It sounds very productive and beneficial. Free pinball and upgrade! Score!!! Hoping that you hit a Big Jackpot. Have fun.
     
  13. bshowell

    bshowell VIP Whale

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    Wow only the first day? You're good!
     
    Back on track!
    Carrying on
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  14. MattyVegas

    MattyVegas Low-Roller

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    Great report so far! Thanks!
     
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  15. cjcjcj

    cjcjcj VIP Whale

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    Love it!!!! That Wynn room looks great!!!
    Will definitely have to get to the pool early when we go to get a spot, which is no biggie for us we are usually up at 5am in Vegas due to time change
     
    Return to the Wynn!!
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  16. Lulu4545

    Lulu4545 Super Jeans

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    Enjoying your report!
     
    Return to the Cosmos
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  17. poidawg

    poidawg Low-Roller

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    It was a really nice room, just a long hike and no couch. Hotel was lots less busy today so more room at the pool which opens at 9am, and apparently the valet reopened too.
     
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  18. poidawg

    poidawg Low-Roller

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    Tuesday starts out at the Wynn pool again but this time there are a lot more chairs available so maybe the crowd is dwindling. It was so nice and quiet but I have a feeling it will build up again towards the weekend. Tried to schedule a Masterclass for Friday but the next 2 sessions were booked and I signed up for the dim sum MC in August, that should be fun.

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    After soaking up the sun until noon, I head out to find this sports memorabilia store that is supposedly holding a show this weekend. I heard about Powerplay Sports Collectibles from another forum and turns out they do indeed have a big show at Sunset Station this weekend and the autograph guest is “Merciless” Ray Mercer! He’s an Olympic champion boxer who was involved in many big heavyweight fights in the 90’s with one of the best nicknames. I’m hoping Iron Mike Tyson will show up for a grudge match right there in the SS buffet. Incidentally, the sports card has been rivaling Bitcoin in insanity and new product has been impossible to find. The show will feature some local Vegas dealers who may have things I can’t get at home. It’s also a good warmup for the National sports collectors convention NSCC in Chicago the end of July which is massive.

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    Turns out the Sports store is kinda close to another place I’ve never visited, the Ethel M Chocolate Factory. I’m more partial to See’s Candy but never ever turn down free samples. The facility does indeed look like a candy factory (the M in her name is for Mars) except there’s a beautiful desert garden right In front of the company store. You can go inside the store and get samples and a free tour that basically consists of walking along a plexiglass wall to see what’s going on in the factory. I half expected to see oompah loompahs but there was just a few ordinary workers finishing up their shift. At the end of the tour I buy some chocolates to take home. They give you an ice packet in an attractive bag, but there’s no way chocolate will survive a week in this heat. Just too hot to tour the garden but maybe at a future visit.

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  19. poidawg

    poidawg Low-Roller

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    Next up it’s a straight shot down Sunset to another free tour at Shelby Automotive. Known for Shelby mustangs, cobras, etc... they have a wonderful collection of cars and history of the legendary driver and entrepreneur Carroll Shelby. It also features a plexiglass wall overlooking a massive mechanics shop where custom auto modifications are being completed. I’m not a huge gearhead but these cars are SWEEEEET, some are even for sale. You can look around on your own or get a paid tour with a guide, and of course puruse the Shelby gift shop.

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    To avoid confusion I’m just going to say I moved out of the Wynn to Bally’s today but hopefully will be back to the Wynn tomorrow. The reason is WynnSlots and a years worth of brainlessly accumulating points with no place to go. Maybe for this TR imagine I never left the Wynn (I do) except for a pit stop at our next dinner destination... Giordano’s!

    Turns out one of the AI guys I last saw while we both lived in Chicago years ago. I lived in Wrigleyville, yes blocks from the ballpark, and suffered many a losing Cubs game. Giordanos isn’t exactly my top deep dish pizza (I prefer Ginos East) but it’s Chicago-y enough to make it a must stop on Vegas visits. We get there and the wait for a deep dish is over an hour, but so worth it. We end up getting 2 pies, one vegetarian one meat, and finish them both off.

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    Tomorrow I’m going to the World of Concrete show to visit my dinner companions and scam some free tee shirts. They are not so subtly trying to get me to help break down the booth on Thursday so I’m currently working on an excuse to bail out. I’m also going to pick up my poker buddy Zed (not his real name) from the airport and we’ll try to bring down the Bellagio poker room (or die tryin’, bankroll-wise).

    It’s 1am and the Wynn gods bless me with a same day reservation for 2 more nights. Oh happy day! I’m going to sleep like a baby. Good night!
     
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  20. Someone

    Someone High-Roller

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    nice report and pics of things that are not always shown

    I ate a handful of pepcids just looking at that pizza
     
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