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Las Vegas, New Years Eve 2005

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by rje, Jan 4, 2006.

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  1. rje

    rje High-Roller

    Jan 14, 2003

    My Trip Report

    There we three of us: Myself and my 2 college roommates. We flew out of Midway Friday the 30th on Southwest. It was a sold out, cramped, but uneventful flight. Due to some rain/sleet, and the need to de-ice the plane wee took off a bit late, but seemed to make up most of the time in the air as we landed only about 10 minutes late. When we arrived at baggage claim, or driver from Presidential Limo was waiting for us by the baggage claim. It took almost 30 minutes before the bags came out, but them we were on our way to the Imperial Palace.

    The driver took the strip to the IP and it took a while. Traffic was solid. It took a good 45 minutes to get from the Mandalay Bay to the IP. Crazy. But the strip was alive with energy.

    Check-in at the IP was very quick. They were able to fill my request of a room overlooking the Strip and Carnival Court on the 18th floor of the front tower. It was one of the “renovated rooms†with the beige décor. The view was great… a nice panorama from the Bellagio down to Treasure Island. For what it is, I like the IP. Great location, and reasonable rates. The room was $208 per night, plus taxes, which is by far the cheapest I found of any strip property for the weekend.

    On a side note: When I booked the reservation back in August, I reserved for 2 guests. At the time I was not sure who was going and just wanted to grab the room at the $208 rate. In the end, 3 of us went. Last week I called to confirm our reservation and asked about a rollaway bed. I was told that the room is booked for 2 guests, and to add a third to the reservation would cost $61 per night! Plus they could not even guarantee the rollaway! What a rip off! The solution? I went to Target the day before I left and bought a Twin sized air mattress for $20 which even came with a small electric pump. This worked out very well. The bed inflated in just a minute or so… the next morning we would deflate it and put it back in my suitcase.

    Now back to the trip:

    Friday evening:
    After check it we went down to the Casino from some gambling, and drinking. The tables were pretty backed so we just stuck to the slots and bar top poker machines. After a few hours we headed next door to Harrah’s for more of the same. I had no luck at all. In that first night I dropped about $500. In retrospect I should not have been chasing my losses so much… but hey it’s Vegas and I was there to gamble. At about 3:00 Vegas time we headed back to the IP to have a late dinner it the Tea Room. We all had the late night special of $5.95 steak and eggs. With soups and soft drinks, the tab for 3 was about $24.00. We were to bed around 4:30 or so.

    Saturday/New Years Eve

    Once we were up and out of bed, we walked over to the Venetian to have lunch in the food court by the Canal Shops. Just your typical mall food, grossly over priced. I had some Chinese, and my friends had pizza. We all paid about $10 for lunch. We played a bit at the Venetian, sat in the sports book for a while, then headed back to the IP for dinner. We had early (4:00) reservations at Embers.
    Embers was pretty good. I would put it on the same level as the Circus Circus Steakhouse as a reasonably priced steakhouse with good food. The bill for the three of us was $124 (we all had a soup, side, and a streak).
    It was nice eating that early as the place was nice a quiet (a pleasant contrast to the crowds and craziness of the weekend), plus eating early is practical when you are looking forward to a night of drinking. I always found it difficult to drink on a full stomach after a large meal. This way after a few hours of digestion, you can bit the ground running with some cocktails… and we did.

    After dinner we went down to the Casino for a bit, then headed up to the room to change, have a drink, and grab out tickets for Legends in Concert (the 7:30 show). As always, it was a good show, and a good primer for the evening. After the show we headed down to the Casino again until about 11:45 when we headed up to the room to uncork a bottle of Champagne and watch the fireworks from the room balcony. This was very cool. Much better than being down on the strip with the masses. After a few drunkin’ dials to wish family and friends at home a Happy New Year we were going to head back down stairs, but another friend from college who was also in town joined us in the room for some drinks. They were out on the strip for the fireworks and said it was just crazy down there. It was nice to have some good conversation as we had not seen this friend in a while, nor ever met her boyfriend. Around 4:00 or so we decided to call it a night.

    Sunday/New Years Day
    After we got up, showered and dressed we headed over to the Wynn in hopes of lunch at the Buffet. It was packed! The buffet line was an hour and 45 minutes. Now way did we want to wait that long. We have not eaten since dinner at Embers the night before and were starving by now. At my suggestion, we headed over to the buffet at Treasure Island. The line here was pretty short, but very slow moving. This was not a well managed operation on Sunday. Yes, it was New Years day and busy, but as we stood in line, looking through the windows into the buffet seating area, at any point in time there were several tables that went empty and uncleaned as we waited in line to be seated. At once point, I counted nine tables unused. 4 were cleaned and the other 5 sat empty but piled with dirt dishes for at least 20 minutes. Very frustrating. After almost an hour of waiting, we were finally seated. The food was OK. But, the layout of the place just caused more lines to get your food. It was a very frustrating dining experience. We just left and decided to forget about it as we had late dinner reservations at Delmonico.

    After lunch, we headed back to the IP to relax a bit before heading out for our last night. We headed over to the Venetian around 8:00 to play some slots and have a few drinks, then went to dinner at 10:00. As before, Delmonico was excellent. Excellent food, excellent service. The three of us each had the same thing: New Orleans BBQ shrimp as an appetizer (shared one order), French Onion soup, Delmonico Ribeye steak, and a round of Mojitos. The final tab came to around $249… with tip it was about $100 each.

    After dinner we cabbed it to New York New York for drinking and gambling and took it a band at the Big Apple bar for a while. At about 3:30 we headed back to the IP, played a little roulette then went to bed around 5:00. The next morning, rather afternoon we checked out (a 4:00 checkout cost an add’ll $29). Before heading to the airport, we tried the new Buffet, Flavors, at Harrah’s. The selection was a bit limited, but the food was OK.

    Our flight home was delayed due to the bad weather in California (our flight originated in Orange County). I finally got home around 1:00 am, very tired. I had intended on going to work on Tuesday, but called in as I did not feel well. A severe lack of sleep on top of flu like symptoms was not a good combination. Good news is that what ever it was passed, thanks to some Advil and several hours of catch up sleep.

    In a nutshell: It was a great time. It was very crowded, but not so much so that it was not enjoyable. I had no luck gambling at all, the only machines that paid were the ATM’s! Winner everytime!

    I am pretty sure there will be at least another trip this year, but not sure if I will match the 4 I took in 2005.
  2. IllMarty

    IllMarty Orangutan

    Dec 7, 2004
    Will Co., IL
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Nice report rje. Sounds like a good time.
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