Last month I was at the RIO...next trip is March 22-27. Noticing the usual posts of 'free offers' members get from a variety of properties is pretty normal... I never get 'em, but a few weeks ago, free stay offers from Wynn Las Vegas started surfacing in folks emails. I've received a few offers from them... $179. $159. mid week stay, but never anything better than that. The free stay emails continued to illude my inbox until the morning of Tuesday, Dec. 30th, 3:30am...4DAYS3NIGHTS+$150.INPLAYMONEY. "Oh great, typical offer timing"...You get a good deal at a nice place, but no flights and no money...(but it's Wynn Las Vegas for free...) Hmmmm, OK........how 'bout a good Show to stimulate a totally irrational decision. NOTHING! I surfed through the RJ's NEON, vegas.com, GoldStar, TravelZoo...no causuals in town, too early for any of the upcoming new Shows, and... (according to GREGRIO's redundant suggestions to always book well in advance for the better seats)...it was too last minute for good seats at one of the top tier Shows so..........FORGET IT! (even if I'd found something, there was still the $200. SOUTHWEST flight to deal with).........GO TO WORK and pretend the email never happened. Work preoccupied my symptoms of trying to rationalize WHY/HOW I could/should even consider going back to Vegas so soon. After all, March would be here soon enough and I needed the two months ahead to save up some money for expenses...DON'T NEED TO TELL ANYBODY TIMES ARE TOUGH! Now for the ball breaker. It's not bad enough that Wynn's twistin' one arm, when here comes an email from SOUTHWEST twistin'...THE OTHER! 50% OFF ALL FLIGHTS TO LAS VEGAS if you book today or tomorrow ONLY! (December 30th, 31st)...then use the tic for a future flight. Money aside, Shows aside...having seniority at work has it's molments. "I'M TAKING MY 1ST WEEK OF 2009 VACATION" I announced (and called my credit union, lol) Arriving at the hotel, I only knew I had a Resort Room and some free play coming. It was 9am when I entered the registration area...(two other parties in there maybe...) and was greeted by a customer service person who asked..."checking OUT?"...no I said, checking IN. I was assigned to an agent, presented my offer and request for an upper floor, Strip view room and waited for her to say that check in was at 3pm. Instead, she said they'd been expecting me and apologized my room wasn't quite ready...it would still be a couple hours. NO PROBLEM! I stashed my bag at the Bell Desk and headed off to get something to eat in the TERRACE POINTE CAFE. Huevos Rancheros was the choice of the morning. The cafe had a pleasant size crowd, not real busy and perfect for a relaxed, people watching breakfast. Now I've been in Wynn for their opening week, Avenue Q, Le Reve and SPAMALOT(alot), but really didn't know my way around save for the buffet, cafe, showroom and a favorite video poker machine that I got 3k out of one night before SPAMALOT started...so I wandered. Spotted all the bathrooms, casual burger, ice cream, morning muffin shops, then back to registration and was in my room 3047 by 11:00am. This Resort Room on the 30th floor was simple and nice. Not as large as I'd expected, but worked JUST FINE! Orange/salmon colored walls with white furniture and bed covering. As you walked through the wide hallway entry, the large bathroom was on your Left, spacious double wide closet w/safe was next to it with a giant floor to ceiling wall mirror across from it. The main area held the King bed, couch and ottoman, large 42"LCD on the wall, office desk w/ FAX, business phone, and high speed internet access, a table in front of the floor to ceiling windows and a refreshment (THIS THING WAS LOADED) counter... (more so than the normal amenities I've found at other properties) Setting on top were jars containing GUMDROPS, CHOCOLATE COVERED CHERRIES, JELLYBEANS, M&M's, MIXED NUTS, CASHEWS, PISTACHIOS, CARMEL PEANUT POPCORN, MIXED CHOCOLATES, PEPPERIDGE FARM COOKIES, SOURDOUGH NIBBLES, POPTTOE CHIPS and water. The fridge underneath looked like one of the downstairs bars with booze, beer, soft drinks, designer waters AND... the (sometimes not to obvious note...) REMOVE LONGER THAN 60 SECONDS AND THEY'RE CHARGED DIRECTLY TO YOUR ROOM ACCOUNT. The bathroom was quite large with dual sinks, a large soaking tub, separate glass shower stall, small wall television and separate toilet stall w/ telephone. I've always found these johnphones a bit silly...There's some sounds I just don't need to hear bleeding through the phone while I'm having a conversation with someone sitting on the john. I mean, seriously...does anyone ever really use these phones? "Hello...room service?, I'd like to order a (fart...) CHEESEBURGER!" My view was great! Opposite that of my regular East facing RIO room where I look down on the pools, high roller casa, the sunrises, Masquerade Tower and the Strip out in front ... the 'odd' numbered Resort Rooms face West(ish) and the sunsets. Directly below me was the 'Lake of Dreams' in front of Mount Wynn (you could see that silly little show each night) The intersection of Sands and Las Vegas Bullavard was on the corner and that was fun to watch...To the Right was TRUMP, next to that was...'the cloud' over Fashion Show Mall. Treasure Island and the 'Siren's Lagoon' was right across the street... (you could see that silly little show too each night), Mirage and Palazzo were to the Left. Being that high up, I was surprised you could still hear the BOOMS! from the Pirate Battle and the throbbing BUMP BUMP BUMP BUMP of 'TRYST Nightclub' well into the night...AND, the roar of the jets that flew right over the top of my window on EVERY Westbound flight! Awwwww, the fun never stops in Vegas. I don't eat much. Wynn's TERRACE POINT CAFE is always good. I bring my own Mr. Coffee maker each trip and needed something to go with my early, in room coffee...THE DRUGSTORE CAFE have some awesome cherry, orange, and walnut muffins. (carrot cake too!, lol) ZOOZACRACKERS has a great pastrami, coleslaw, Russian dressing and jack cheese hamburger...SUGAR AND ICE, down at the end on the Wynn Esplanade have sorbee, gelato, sandwiches, burgers AND breakfasts. You can sit inside or outside by the water falls. SOME THOUGHS ON ENCORE: I walked around there two days off 'n on. There's a hallway linking the two next to the Encore Theatre (old Grail/SPAMALOT Theatre) where Danny Gans will work. I played my $150. free play there on the $5.00 WOF machines (only got 1 spin), landed on thirty bucks and lost it all in the end. ENCORE seems smaller than Wynn. Maybe it's because of all the drapery and curtains he's got all over the place??? There's lots of windows and skylights and lots and lots of BORDELLO RED. His red chandeliers hang everywhere. First thing that came to mind when I saw them was...ALASKAN KING CRAB LEGS, lol. All the arms that extend from the center have little points on 'em...like crab legs. They're long and red... like crab legs...hey, what can I say. I was curious about SWITCH restaurant...the one where the walls change designs along with the servers uniforms??? HO-HUM. It seems to be more yack and no sack. There's two walls that 'perform' for the dining guests. One by the main entrance, the other behind the bar. I talked to one of the hostesses in the morning before they opened and watched the main wall...do it's thang. They're covered in various draperies, colors and textures. Every half hour, it sinks into the floor, leaving an open air wall to the area outside next to the restaurant. A half hour later, it raises back up again with a new texture design.(that's it) They've already 'nixed' the idea of the servers changing uniforms...takes too much time. I was going to eat there next trip after Danny Gans but not now. It's more hype than visual entertainment (to me), VERY EXPENSIVE and a strict business casual dress code. I'd rather eat at SINATRA which had a good menu...still a bit pricey, but more reasonable than SWITCH. I wasn't much impressed with ENCORE. I prefer Wynn Las Vegas. My last day, Friday, rather than hang around Wynn til flight time, I went over to RIO to visit and play a bit. More rumors of a FOR SALE sign going up...??? Some of my friends are moving to M Resort, others acting like business as usual. Much of Masquerade Tower is closed for renovation...once it's spruced up, might be a good time to sell ??? The shuttle from RIO to Caesars has been canceled til further need...The other property shuttles are still running (for now) I DID find some great seats for BETTE and JERSEY BOYS again, despite the last minute bookings. (TAKE THAT GREGRIO, goes to show how much you know...) Low crowds, lots of available seating but I wouldn't push it. You want to see something, get 'em in advance. The showrooms were still pretty full. Middler has totally reworked her Show. WOW!, what a difference from the first time I saw it. It's WONDERFUL, I'd see it again. REAR ORCH 4, ROW F. JERSEY BOYS was great the second time around too. I almost bought one of the CDs after the Show...almost. They wanted $25. for 'em... you can get the same one on AMAZON for half the price, but I wanted, and found...all the songs by the real FOUR SEASONS and FRANKIE VALLI rather than the Broadway cast. I found 'em all on a new greatest hits CD (also on amazon) I had SECTION 2, ROW L this time. I didn't play much. (savin' for March ya know...) $1,300. payed for transportation and earned me 800 new RED CARD points gambling at Wynn. No BIG wynns, but the slots and VP kept me playin' and entertained. That's it. It was great fun staying at a new place for a change, it WAS very nice. THE END.