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Dave's Delayed trip report - 9/30/17 through 10/4/17 (Yes, that weekend)

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Eusdawb, Jul 9, 2018.

  1. Eusdawb

    Eusdawb Tourist

    Joined:
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    Location:
    McKinney TX
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    40

    My Trip Report

    Hi everyone. I have been thinking about submitting this trip report for many months now but was hesitant to do so due to the sensitive nature of some of the content but after speaking with Sonya, I think it’s worth doing to document a very unusual and memorable trip for me and a couple of my friends. Since it’s been so many months now I may leave out some details but I am recreating the timeline in my head from Facebook posts and text messages sent at the time along with photos I took. Looking back now I wish I had kept snapping photos but the few I did take are memorable. Ok, enough preamble.


    I have been taking regular trips to Vegas once or twice per year for the last 20+ years with some buddies from work and sometimes their spouses. 20 years ago we were all single and freshly out of college and we went twice per year, once in the Spring and again in the Fall.

    A few years later we started to get married and the trips dropped to just once per year.

    A few years after that we were all parents of young children and the trips stopped all together for a few years.

    Now that our kids are in middle school the trips have started to increase in frequency again. Yay! J

    This trip was scheduled for 4 nights beginning Saturday September 30th and ending on Wednesday, October 4th, 2017. For this trip we were staying at Paris. Participants were me (Dave), my friends M and B, and B’s wife, S.


    Most of our trips are pretty unremarkable. We don’t go to many shows, strip clubs or attractions. We like to gamble, have a few drinks, and walk up and down the strip checking out any changes that have been made since our last trip. This trip was supposed to be more of the same and except for the evening of October 1st, it was.


    Day 1 – Saturday September 30, 2017


    This was the second time I have stayed at Paris and I really enjoy the property. I am generally a CET player and have stayed at the Flamingo more times than I can remember with a few stays at CP, Aladdin, Imperial Palace and Bally’s among others. I think my impression of Paris may be colored a bit by the Passion Pit dancers though. I had quite a few drinks there playing 3 Card Poker and really enjoyed myself on both of my stays at the hotel.

    2017-09-30 08.44.15.jpg 2017-09-30 09.35.00.jpg

    My room was an upper floor with a few of the pool and the Eiffel Tower. The view was nice, particularly in the evenings with the Bellagio fountains lit up.

    2017-09-30 10.11.53.jpg 2017-09-30 15.03.50.jpg 2017-09-30 16.03.56.jpg 2017-09-30 22.34.32.jpg


    After checking in, we all headed to Blondies Sports Bar in the Planet Hollywood Miracle Mile shops to watch our Texas Aggies play beat the South Carolina Gamecocks. Final score was 24-17 according to Google. I remember we won, but that’s about it. J


    Walking back through the mall after the game we stumbled upon this bar with robot bartenders. This was the first time we had seen this so we watched for a while as someone ordered a drink on an Ipad and the robots chose the proper bottles, poured the ingredients into a shaker and eventually output a cocktail. The prices were a bit high for the size of the drinks you received but it was interesting to watch as a novelty.

    2017-10-01 13.37.27.jpg

    2017-10-01 13.43.18.jpg


    Day 2 – Sunday October 1, 2017


    The group returned to Blondies on Sunday morning to watch the Cowboys game. Unfortunately they did not fare as well as my Aggies, and lost to the Rams 35-30. I remember the game being wild, back and forth and that I lost money on it. Oh well, that’s what I get for making an emotional bet.


    As I said, it’s been a while since the trip and I don’t recall a ton about the gambling side of the equation. I mostly play craps and video poker with a little 3 Card thrown in the mix. I did take a few photos of some video poker wins. On my last trip before this and the source of my first ever trip report (LINK), I finally hit my first hand-pay on an Ultimate X machine at CP, so I found myself at this machine several times during this trip. These photos are all from that same machine. Could I hit another hand-pay?


    2017-10-01 17.25.26.jpg
    2017-10-01 17.50.10.jpg
    2017-10-01 17.59.32.jpg



    The rest of the day was spent walking from one CET property to another, playing craps here and there. I played a lot of craps with my friend M. B and S spent a lot of time together on their own so it was no surprise that M and I found ourselves playing craps at Paris that evening. M decided to call it a night early and went back to his room around 10:30. I kept playing craps and was doing fairly well, up maybe $100 or so.


    I was standing at the end of the table next to the dealer and facing towards the bubble craps machine and the Passion Pit area (toward the south end of the strip). I looked up at one point and thought that everyone at the other end of the table was staring at me, but I turned around and realized there was a TV mounted behind me and on it was a breaking news story of a shooting at the Mandalay Bay. At this point the news was still breaking and details were unknown. Some of the players around the table and the dealers started to talk about it, figuring it was a result of a bar fight or a domestic disturbance, no one having any suspicions that it was much much worse than that.

    I obviously don’t need to provide any more information on what was happening at the concert by the Mandalay Bay and I never expected that it would affect us in the Paris casino but 20 or 30 minutes later after noticing the coverage on the TV, there were suddenly hundreds of people screaming and running through the casino. I don’t recall hearing anything specific that started the panic, but it was like snapping your fingers. One moment we were playing craps, the next moment people were running by, looking over their shoulders, running into one another, knocking over drinks, etc.


    The pit bosses, dealers and stickman crouched down behind the table, so the rest of us quickly did the same. A woman appeared next to me and scooted as far as she could under the table. To my left a man and woman huddled together. I could see a young lady underneath the table next to ours. We hid under the craps tables for a minute or two, unsure if we should get up and run with the other people heading past, or continue to stay under cover. It was at that point that I heard a woman scream about a shooter.

    I realized my phone’s battery was down below 15% and I wasn’t sure how long it would be functional so I started sending text messages to my friends M, B and S to see if they were ok and tell them where I was.

    These pictures are time stamped at 11:31 PM
    2017-10-01 23.31.04.jpg
    2017-10-01 23.31.05.jpg
    2017-10-01 23.31.24.jpg


    I looked around me and the carpet was a mess. There were multiple spilled drinks, a smashed set of sun glasses, spilled ash trays.

    We had not heard anything resembling a gun shot, but something had caused this panic. Another minute or so later, a casino security guard ran by and screamed at us to evacuate.


    We all got up, I quickly grabbed my chips off the rail and shoved them into a pocket and ran through the casino toward the elevators. Another guard intercepted me there and pointed in another direction toward a service corridor. Looking back on it now, I wish I had taken a second to show him my room key and see if I could get to the elevators because it turned out to be several hours before I could get back inside. Entering the service corridor, I saw money and casino chips from a cocktail waitress' tray all over the floor. We played follow the leader through several turns and fled through an emergency exit, into an alley between the Paris and Bally’s.

    Here is a shot from Google street view showing the area:

    exit doors.JPG

    As we ran out, everyone started to slow down and walk, but immediately two Metro police officers ran toward us with assault rifles up to their shoulders and yelled at us to keep running and get the fuck out. At this time it was obvious that something had been reported to have happened inside the Paris casino. I thought I was in the middle of an active shooter scenario. It was confusing and frightening. The two officers entered the Paris through the same doors through which we had just exited. The crowd turned to the right and we continued down the alley toward the parking garages.


    I had received back text messages from B and S letting me know they were ok. B had been playing poker in Bally’s and they had been evacuated to the Paris Convention Center and were being held there. S was in their room and was reporting that the TV news was only talking about the situation at the Mandalay Bay, no news about what was happening at the Paris or Bally’s. So now there were multiple properties being evacuated and I was in a crowd of people out in the open, not knowing where to go or what to do. I texted M again, asking if he was ok – still no reply.


    2017-10-01 23.34.17.jpg
    2017-10-01 23.36.08.jpg


    We (the crowd) reached the end of the alley, came to right turn next to the Paris/Bally’s tram station and flowed out behind one of the garages but as we approached one of the ramps on our right, suddenly a large group of people came screaming and running down the ramp toward us. I have no idea what caused that second panic, but it was several minutes removed from the one in the casino floor. Immediately, the crowd I was in turned around and ran back in the direction from which we had come. It was complete chaos.

    Again, an image from street view of that ramp from the parking garage.

    ramp4.JPG


    I found an unlocked door that lead into the service area of the tram station and took cover there for probably 10-15 minutes with several families. There were two very young children who were crying inconsolably and several people attempted to enter Bally’s from the tram station and were turned away. The tram was shut down, no trains running, so no way to use those to get out of the area. I figured I would be safe hunkered down behind the concrete wall and a ticket machine, so I sat down on the ground and pulled out my phone again. Still no answer from M, and B had sent a text saying he was being told by the security officers with them that they were not sure when it would be safe for them to leave the convention center. People with room keys and IDs for the Paris would be allowed back in once things were deemed to be safe.


    After sitting on the ground for approximately 15 minutes and having no luck finding out anything about what was happening in the Paris on social media or news sites, I decided I wanted to get further away from the hotel. I stuck my head out of the door of the tram station and there were still a long line of people heading past the Paris garage. I joined them and when I came to a corner, I turned left and headed to what I would soon learn was an employee parking lot.



    2017-10-01 23.50.22.jpg

    Street view images of the alley leading to the employee parking lot and the lot seen from the other side.

    ramp5.JPG
    ramp6.JPG


    I passed several tennis courts and came to a concrete wall that separated the courts from a parking lot. I found a spot against the wall and looked around. There was a young Asian woman sitting on the ground in a party dress who was crying as hard as I have ever seen someone crying. She was being comforted by two other young women who were also dressed up, apparently planning to go to the clubs that evening. There were a lot of Paris employees milling around. This being a Sunday during football season, they were all wearing NFL jerseys and I saw several that I had spoken with that evening including the cocktail waitress who had been working the craps table. They were gathering in groups and talking under their breath about what was going on.

    Once I settled down behind the wall, my phone was down below 5% battery life so I decided to give my wife a quick call to let her know I was ok. It was 2:30 AM back in Texas but I didn’t want someone calling or texting her and have her try to reach me after my phone died. She would have thought the worst. Once I assured her I was ok, she turned on the TV and said that the news was all about the Mandalay Bay. I was still confused why there was no news about the Paris because something had clearly happened there. Once I was done talking to her, I finally heard from M who had been in the shower when everything started and didn’t know anything was up until the broadcasts started over the PA inside the hotel.


    Sitting in the employee parking lot, we were still hearing rumors that there were shooters in at least three different hotels. One of the cocktail waitresses was talking to a dealer a few feet in front of me and said that she had just gotten off the phone with a friend from Australia who had seen a report on the news there. She had called friend who worked at another property and she said there confirmed reports of shooters at multiple properties. I heard her say that and when I tried to check on my phone, it had finally died.


    The staff from the Paris were taking head counts to make sure everyone made it out safely and some of them left in their cars but most hunkered down to wait. Crews were starting to escort one another to a bathroom somewhere inside Bally’s and someone came along with some bottles of water for the other Paris employees.


    2017-10-02 00.29.09.jpg


    My friend B texted me to let me know that they were being allowed to go back to their rooms if they had a room key and an ID. This was around 1:00 AM. I started walking back to the Paris and when I reached the garage I found a security guard, explained what B had said, and showed him my room key and ID. He spoke on his radio for a few seconds and then directed me to walk back the way we had come when we evacuated. He assured me there would be someone at that same exit door who would escort me to the elevators.


    So I started walking. I heard someone else ask the guard what was happening and he told them to follow me. Pretty soon there were 20 or so people following me back to the alleyway between Paris and Bally’s. It was still a confusing situation and unfortunately, once I got to the exit door, it was locked and there was no one there. A Metro police officer had the alleyway blocked just past the exit so no cars could pass through to the strip and I asked him what we were supposed to do. He told us to wait by the door and wait for someone to let us in. So began a two hour wait for someone to find us and let us in. A couple of young girls in cowboy boots were waiting next to me at the door and they explained that they had been at the concert and about the shooting. They had run all the way to the Paris in boots and could barely stand or walk.


    A couple of Paris employees came walking up the alley and were about to go through the doors when they were set upon by several angry people who wanted answers on what was going on. I understood the frustration but we tried to calm things down. One guy was a beverage manager and the other a bartender. They were going back inside to get their wallets, keys, etc. They promised to try to find someone and let them know we were waiting there. The line was approximately 100 people or so at this point.


    Time passed and maybe 45 minutes later the bartender comes walking back up the alleyway from the garage. He had apparently taken it upon himself to follow up on the situation when his boss did not. He had found someone in security who could escort us into the hotel so we followed him to an entrance where we were allowed in. I wish I had gotten his name so I could send in a note to the management at the Paris about how he helped us out. If you’re out there buddy, thank you! This was around 3 AM - we were escorted directly to the elevators after showing our IDs and room keys to security and were not allowed to walk toward the casino floor.


    When I got to my room I plugged in my phone and took a couple of pictures out the window. I have never seen the strip completely empty of cars and pedestrians, regardless of the time of day. It was eerie and reminded me of the days after 9/11 when there were no airplanes in the skies. That missing ingredient to the normal flow of life was glaring in its absence.


    2017-10-02 02.55.56.jpg
    2017-10-02 02.56.18.jpg


    I was exhausted but could not sleep. Even after a shower, my mind would not slow down. I watched the news unfolding on TV and sent out an update on Facebook about what was going on and letting everyone know I was safe. Most of my friends and family didn’t even know I was in Vegas at the time. I finally shut down and fell asleep sometime before 5:00 AM.



    Day 3 – Monday October 2, 2017


    M and I met up for breakfast at La Salsa in the Miracle Mile shops the next morning around 9:30. This is a staple of our visits to Vegas because it’s one of the few places we have found where we can get a simple breakfast for under $10 on the strip. We talked about the previous night and I filled him in on the craziness I had experienced. After breakfast we walked through the mall and I stopped for a couple of souvenirs for my son at a POTUS store. I think it was a pop-up type of thing, not sure but they had a lectern setup and I had to get a photo.

    2017-10-02 10.32.38.jpg


    We passed back through Planet Hollywood and found the relocated statue from the Riviera and gave it a rub for luck.



    2017-10-02 10.42.16.jpg

    The news was sobering about the true victims of the shooting and there was a pall over everything. Playing at the tables was much more subdued than normal and other players and dealers were sharing their experiences. This went on throughout the day. The Aria had a sign on their huge marquee about the events of the prior evening and while the strip looked the same, it did not feel the same. Not at all.


    2017-10-02 10.46.37.jpg
    2017-10-02 10.48.28.jpg
    2017-10-02 10.49.24.jpg

    Remember how I mentioned that I grabbed my chips off the rail as I was evacuated from the Paris casino the night before? While M and I were playing craps at CP today, we saw two different people walk up to the pit boss and talk to him. He checked a clip board and their IDs and gave them stacks of chips. We were guessing that these were people who had been playing craps the night before and left without their chips when the chaos started. (I guess it happened at CP too? I haven’t heard anyone confirm this). Anyway, I imagine that the eye in the sky and the people who support it had a long night tallying up everything that was at play on the tables when the mess started. Just something that we thought was interesting…




    This was my first trip at Diamond level and I had a credit for a celebration dinner so I took M out to the buffet at CP. B and S joined us and we had a great meal. This was the second time we have been here in the recent years and they have a huge selection of different things to try. I didn’t get many pictures but I did get one of the bone marrow (really?) and this one for my son off the dessert buffet. A jar of gummy worms? Those are his favorite.


    2017-10-02 19.01.04.jpg

    2017-10-02 20.02.00.jpg


    After dinner I played some more video poker and tried out this Penn & Teller machine at Flamingo which was entertaining but ate my hundred pretty quickly.

    2017-10-02 17.06.12.jpg
    2017-10-02 17.10.07.jpg


    Fortunately I won it back at VP back at CP.


    2017-10-02 21.17.00.jpg



    Day 4 – Tuesday October 3, 2017


    Our last full day in Vegas was upon us and M and I decided to walk north on the strip to TI, the Mirage, etc. As we walked, the increased police presence was very noticeable. There were groups of Metro PD cards every other block with many officers standing nearby. I guess it was to provide a sense of security but to me it had the opposite effect – were there concerns about copy cat attacks?

    2017-10-03 10.43.55.jpg
    2017-10-03 12.11.11.jpg


    We played at TI, Mirage, walked through the Venetian and back through towards Harrah’s. More craps played here and there, nothing of note to report but I could feel the clock running out on my trip. I hate that feeling on the last full day of a Vegas trip. I was still chasing a big payout on VP and by mid afternoon I was back at CP on the same Ultimate X machine of my previous hand-pay. I ran through several hundred pretty quickly before I heard that wonderful music and the note about needing an attendant. Yes, my second hand-pay and on the very same machine as the first!

    The previous hand had given me a pat flush so I had 10x multipliers on all 5 hands the next time out. I was dealt two Aces so I was praying for a quad to pop up. The upper right hand rewarded me with 4 Aces plus a 2 kicker. What a feeling!

    2017-10-03 15.57.15.jpg
    2017-10-03 15.57.05.jpg


    After sending pictures to M and B of my lucky hit, I headed back to Paris to wind up the evening with some 3 Card Poker in the Party Pit.

    I remembered one of the dancers as having been there on my last trip but there was something different about her. Her blonde hair was now black. She was very nice and allowed me a photo in exchange for a tip. I played 3 Card for a couple of hours before heading back up to the room around 1:00 AM.

    2017-10-03 22.48.45.jpg
    As a blonde from previous trip:
    Paris dancer.jpg


    Day 5 – Wednesday October 4, 2017


    Not much to report on for our travel day with the exception that we had seen on the news that President Trump was in town to meet with some of the victims and families and we were unsure what the traffic would be like trying to get to McCarran. We left about 3 hours ahead of our flight time just to be safe. Sitting at a light near the airport I saw the broken out windows at the Mandalay Bay and snapped a quick picture.

    2017-10-04 11.56.07.jpg

    I normally wouldn’t like to spend that much time at the airport before a flight but it did give us the chance to see Air Force One outside of the D-Gates terminal. An entire side of the terminal was shut down for the President’s security and we grabbed some food, walked down as close as we could and watched as the motorcade arrived and within a few minutes, Air Force One was taxiing and taking off.

    2017-10-04 12.59.33-1.jpg
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    2017-10-04 13.39.27.jpg



    So that about wraps up a report on the most memorable trip I will probably ever take to Vegas. M and I are headed back in less than 2 weeks for another stay, this time at CP. I am debating on whether or not I want to do a live report, but I will probably take more pictures, hopefully including one of my third hand pay on that same Ultimate X machine!


    Thanks for reading

    David
     

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  2. Eusdawb

    Eusdawb Tourist

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    I forgot to add this photo that shows the route I took during the evac. I thought it was interesting to go back and retrace where I had been as it was a bit disorienting at the time.

    The first circle shows where we exited the casino floor (and waited for re-entry until 3:00 AM).
    The second circle shows where I waited in the tram station.
    The third circle shows the area behind the concrete wall in the employee parking lot.

    Paris overhead 2 annotated.JPG
     
    Summer guys trip
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  3. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    Such a horrendous experience. I had attended the Route 91 concert the previous year and had pre-sale tickets in my shopping cart. I decided to book Bruno Mars tickets instead for earlier last September so released the tickets I had in my cart for Route 91....thankfully as Jason Aldean was one of the performances I planned to attend. I know @pleasemum from the board was at Cosmo during the ensuing chaos and experienced a similar situation hunkering down behind the bar.

    My first knowledge of what happened was when my cell phone started going crazy. I had mentioned I had tickets in my cart to a few people and the word spread and everyone was checking on me. I had to turn on the tv in the wee hours to find out why.

    We have to assume that people fleeing the concert yelling shooter caused the domino effect as nothing has ever come to light to say otherwise.

    I'll be in Vegas for the Anniversary this year. My outdoor concert days are over.

    I attended Gaga in Vegas in December and the additional security measures were evident. You couldn't bring a purse bigger than holding your phone and some cash and we went through metal detectors.

    Just a few weeks ago at home when attending a concert, we went through metal detectors....never have I done that in Ontario Canada before...used to be a purse check.

    It must have been such a surreal experience....I know several people cut their trips short after what happened and headed home.

    Thank you for sharing your experience and photos. Just incredible!
     
  4. idtwins

    idtwins Low-Roller

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    No words. Just wow. Thank you for sharing.
     
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  5. Vegasworm

    Vegasworm Finger Clicker Extraordinaire

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    Wow, what a life changing trip. I can't imagine the panic and chaos people experienced. Thanks for sharing. It's hard to grasp something like that, but I think the 9/11 analogy was spot on.

    Vegasworm
     
  6. Stick2323

    Stick2323 Newbie

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    That must have taken some courage to write, thanks for sharing.
     
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  7. Ezzy711

    Ezzy711 High-Roller

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    Thank you for taking the time to detail your experience. I cannot fathom going through that. Just the uncertainty about what was happening for hours would have put me over the edge. I do hope the one employee who helped you all out was acknowledged.

    The days after must have been difficult to carry on with the party atmosphere. I bet that big handpay helped!

    Best of luck to you for your upcoming trip, you deserve a 100% fun one.
     
    Iffy trip, but I’m a gambler
  8. pebbles

    pebbles VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the report. I'm glad you decided to write about your experience that night. We arrived a week after that awful day and could feel a difference everywhere for the whole trip.

    Congratulations on the hand pay.
     
  9. kkinwi

    kkinwi High-Roller

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    Appreciate you doing this.....such a sad, scary situation.
     
  10. Richard Alpert

    Richard Alpert LOST

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    David,

    Thank you so much for sharing this report, and thank you for the courage and eloquence with which you shared your experience.

    RICHARD
     
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  11. sabrina

    sabrina Low-Roller

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    Thank you for sharing. We were staying at the Linq at the same time
     
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  12. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    A great TR. Thanks for taking the time up to write it. It's unfortunate you didn't go up to your room right away. I can't imagine being locked out until 3am with initial reports of multiple shooters. @TriggerMN was staying at Paris that weekend too, iirc.

    And on a more positive note, what a great hit with the 10X Aces w/kicker! Hope you share even more happy thoughts with us next trip!
     
  13. Dutch34

    Dutch34 Low-Roller

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    In spite of the obvious events, great report. The pictures of folks hunkering down behind pits and your description of the events in Paris....I cannot imagine that feeling. Chokes me up just thinking about it.
     
    Summer Lovin'
    Summer Lovin' Part 2
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  14. Astribling

    Astribling Low-Roller

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    Thank you for sharing. I'm sure writing about it stirred up past emotions. I know it did for me reading it. I'm glad the trip ended on a happier note.
     
    First Vegas Trip in 2 Years!
    Caesars Windsor 3 Night Getaway - Visiting our Northern Neighbors!
  15. MacAttack

    MacAttack Low-Roller

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    Thanks for sharing - terrible ordeal, truly horrific event.
     
    First ever solo trip!!!
  16. sybgal

    sybgal VIP Whale

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    Thank you for sharing your experience with us....I just can't imagine the panic & worry of being there....
     
  17. dmc25

    dmc25 Tourist

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    Thank you for this
     
  18. Royal Flusher

    Royal Flusher Savvy Gambler

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    I'm glad this was posted. Thanks for writing it up.
     
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  19. kathiemc23

    kathiemc23 Low-Roller

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    30
    Thank you so much for sharing. I got there the day you left and Vegas just felt different that week, especially on the strip. I'm glad you hit that awesome hand pay to have a big happy memory to add to the trip. Best of luck on your upcoming trip, may it be nothing but fun and winnings!
     
    Birthday trip!
    Birthday trip!
  20. VegasJmr

    VegasJmr Tourist

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2016
    Messages:
    82
    Location:
    Niagara Falls Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    19
    Thanks for sharing, we visited in early November and the city was still recovering. Thanks again.