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Just got home - Green Valley Ranch, Blue Man, Frankie's, SkyBar

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by ExVegasLocal, May 15, 2019.

  1. ExVegasLocal

    ExVegasLocal Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2013
    Messages:
    355
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    99

    My Trip Report

    I've been on this board for years and have never left a trip report. I figured I was due. Please forgive any typo's.

    I arrived on Sunday around noon. The SW flight from Denver was uneventful and on time. I rarely check a bag, but decided to bring a small coffee maker and some other stuff, so I checked one through.

    Since I had checked a bag, there was no use in trying to be the first off of the plane, so we used my strategy to take the 2nd to last row, and hope the flight was not full. It worked perfectly, and my buddy and I had an empty seat between us.

    While waiting for the bag, I was surprised to find single-serve takeaway booze right next to the carousel. I’m not a beer drinker, but the novelty of having one while waiting for my bag got the better of me, so I had a cold one while waiting.

    I had reserved a Mustang convertible at Budget. With FastBreak, there was no waiting. As soon as the top was down, we were off. The convertible was $160 out the door for 72 hours. Not too bad. (Always recheck those rental car prices before you arrive. Mine dropped the day before I departed.)

    I booked a comp marketing offer at Green Valley Ranch in Henderson. I usually stay at Red Rocks, but lately I’ve been enjoying GVR as it’s a bit smaller and more serene. As always, the offer included an upgrade to a suite, if available upon check-in. Before I arrived, I asked my host to see if she could upgrade me in advance or at least put a note in my record asking the front desk clerk to upgrade me if there was availability. She replied to say she would look into it, but then she ghosted me. Radio silence.

    At check-in, the front desk clerk acted like she had never heard of the upgrade on my marketing offer - even though I showed it to her, and even though I’m sure everyone gets the same offer. She acted like I was asking for a unicorn or something. She checked with her manager who was also dumbfounded and claimed there were no suites available - a lie since I had just checked availability and they were still offering them for sale.

    I checked in to my standard room, which at GVR is still a very posh room and unpacked all my nonsense and various contraptions. Later, I emailed my host and suggested that perhaps I should just go elsewhere from now on. My phone rang immediately. It seems a suite had magically appeared in their inventory, and I was welcome to have it if I repacked and moved. I did. It was a pain, and I should have just refused. In retrospect, it wasn’t worth the hassle.

    I have no interest in 99% of shows. I’ve seen them all, or at least a reasonable representation. (One clown diving into water is much like another one - O vs. Le Reve - if you ask me.) But my buddy had been to Vegas before and was left with a bad taste in his mouth. I wanted to show him a good time. I found great seats on Travelzoo for Blue Man Group for $50 out the door. Since he had not seen it, it seemed like a no brainer. We were about 8 rows from the stage in the center. For $50, it was very enjoyable.

    The next day, we made the obligatory trip to the Hoover Dam. It was a good excuse to put the top down on the car. We took in the view from the bridge. I’m done looking at that fucker. This is my last trip out there.

    That night we headed to Frankie’s Tiki Room, where I met my pal and ex-coworker, Scott Roeben. Some of you may know him from Vital Vegas. He’s such a genuinely nice guy and I was happy to get a little of his time to catch up and see how he’s been doing. We were also met by a couple of other ex-coworkers. About ten minutes after everyone had a Fink Bomb in their hand, the power went out. Scott remarked that Frankie’s looks exactly the same without power. I can’t say he’s wrong. We all had such a good time, we sat there in the dark chatting and laughing and even had another drink or two.

    After we were appropriately rum soaked, my buddy and I exchanged a Groupon at the top of The STRAT for a couple of the thrill rides. We chose the Big Shot and Insanity. Meh. It was amusing enough I guess. The we hit the lounge on level 107 for a drink. There we ran into a big group of cross-dressing men - and proceeded to have a the best time chatting them up! Thanks ladies!

    After a top-down ride down the Strip, we returned to GVR and hung out at the video poker machines until 3am. I hit aces on the dollars once for $800, but there were no real wins to speak of. But it was a fair gamble and I had some good play and got plenty drunk. As an aside, GVR was offering 10x points on reel slots and 6x points on video poker. I was literally drowning in comp dollars and couldn’t find a way to use them all before checking out. But suffice it to say we never paid for a meal, spa day, or anything else with real money.

    The next day was spent hanging out at the pool, the spa, and the casino. That evening, we used some comp dollars for dinner at Hank’s. It was very good, and it didn’t cost anything. But I still can’t get over paying $54 for a steak that comes with nothing but a plate and some parsley. The bill was $160 for two steaks, two salads, two baked potatoes, and one iced tea. If you add wine and dessert, you are easily looking at $250-$300 per couple. If you are a steak person, you should try Hank’s. It really was very good. But for that kind of money, I just felt like someone should be giving me a tug under the table. If I had paid with actual money, I probably would have stolen the cutlery to try to get even.

    That night the plan was to head back to the Strip for “fancy drink” night. Stop number one was Hyde. “We’re sorry, the patio is reserved for a private event. You can sit inside if you like.”. No thanks.

    Stop number two was the Chandelier Bar at the Cosmo. “We’re sorry, the 2nd floor is reserved for a private event. You can sit on level 3 if you like.” Okay, level 3 it was. Had the obligatory Verbena. Moved on.

    Stop number three was the SkyBar at the Waldorf Astoria. This place was amazeballs! Dark, swanky, chill music, fabulous service, and a view to die for. To hell with any other bar in Vegas. I don’t care if the drinks are $21. I’m not going anywhere else next time. This place is the shizzle. It’s not to be missed. Period.

    Today’s flight home was uneventful and a bit early landing. Had an empty seat between us again. Thanks SW. You guys rock.

    Adding it all up: The plane ticket was $120 round trip thanks to a $100 voucher I had from a mechanical delay on a previous flight. Three nights at GVR in an executive suite - $0. All food, beverage, spa services, etc at GVR - $0. Blue Man Group- $50. Strat Groupon- $20. Convertible Mustang from Budget - $160 total ($80 each). Miscellaneous fancy cocktails - maybe $100. Lost about $1,000 gambling. Maybe $1500 all in? Still a pretty good value if you ask me.

    Hope you enjoyed reading.
     
    • Like Like x 19
  2. Tesseract

    Tesseract Tourist

    Joined:
    May 11, 2019
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    Location:
    Indiana
    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    Sounds like a perfect trip!
     
  3. ncpokeresq

    ncpokeresq Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2017
    Messages:
    116
    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    Hope your buddy enjoyed the Vegas more this time. Sounds like you showed him a great sampling with varied atmosphere from Frankie's to the Chandelier and Sky Bar's. What cocktails did you have at Sky Bar?
     
  4. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    Messages:
    17,337
    Location:
    Missouri
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    21
    Nice report! Sounds like you covered a lot of key eating/drinking spots for your buddy!
     
  5. bluenoseshf

    bluenoseshf Tourist

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2016
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    Location:
    Scotland
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    6
    Love the Sku bar. Defitely the best views in Vegas.
     
  6. bluenoseshf

    bluenoseshf Tourist

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2016
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    Location:
    Scotland
    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    Sky Bar*
     
  7. carolineno

    carolineno VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Boston
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    Nice report! LOL about Frankies, although now I would probably notice if the caveman keno bartops went out. I hate that "private event" surprise BS, I got stung by that one trip. It's always good to remain flexible. Glad you got to go to Waldorf Skybar, that place is great and I'm glad to hear that they didn't succumb to a private event. I'll keep them in mind next time I get "privated."
     
    Part One - Ballys Strip View!
    Part Two - Aria Sky Suite!
  8. miss_sonja

    miss_sonja Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
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    I’m hoping to get to Skybar my next trip. Happy to pay for a cocktail with such a view.
     
    Airfare booked-guess I’m going!
    First Comp, I couldn't NOT book it, could I?
  9. jlpkap

    jlpkap Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2006
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Minnesota
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    GVR is still a very nice place, we'll be there in a week, but its not what it was 10-15 years ago. At that time they were 5 star and now I would give them a 4 star. Remember you can always cash your points in before leaving.
    I know I could never do the ride on the Strat. I'd have a heart attack.
    Fun read, thanks.
     
  10. ExVegasLocal

    ExVegasLocal Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    I can't remember what the drinks were called. One of them was a version of a manhattan or old fashioned - a bourbon based drink. The other was a champagne and vodka cocktail of some sort. They were both off of the cocktail menu.
     
  11. ExVegasLocal

    ExVegasLocal Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    GVR is still nice, but the rooms in the west tower have seen better days. I would definitely recommend the east tower. It seems the rooms there have been freshened up.

    Next time I'll probably go back to Red Rocks, although now that Palace Station has been remodeled, that's a strong possibility as well.
     
  12. UnicornTX

    UnicornTX Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2003
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    Location:
    Texas
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    Enjoyed reading. I love the Sunset at the Skybar.
     
    Anxiously awaiting Vegas!
  13. westie

    westie VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Very interesting read - looks like you got around a lot and had fun.
     
  14. Vegasworm

    Vegasworm Finger Clicker Extraordinaire

    Joined:
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    Enjoyed reading your report! You and your friend covered a lot of territory while there. Nice!

    Vegasworm
     
    20th Wedding Anniversary Trip with V!
    Paul McCartney Concert and 20th Anniversary Celebration!!!