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Las Vegas Trip #59 - Summerlin, Sahara & More 10/10/20-10/20/20

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Viva Las Vegas, Oct 9, 2020.

  1. Viva Las Vegas

    Viva Las Vegas Ramblin' Gamblin' Man

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    My Trip Report

    Will be hitting Vegas for 10 days leaving Saturday and returning the following Tuesday. I usually like flying out for 2-3 weeks at a time, with side trips to California or National Parks interspersed. With everything going on, I have no plans to leave the Vegas area and likely won't during the duration of this trip.

    My last trip was in Winter to California, Arizona and Nevada, returning to a pending lock-down in Chicago seven months to the day of my return trip. I haven't left Illinois or flown since. I am flying SWA out of Midway, and returning to O'Hare which is closer to my house.

    I have migrated from primarily gambling trips to visiting with family on weekends and hitting casinos and breweries/bars during the week. I will be staying four weekend nights at my brother's house (he purchased it during my last trip) in Summerlin near the hospital/Rampart/SunCoast, five nights at the Sahara on a locals/no resort fee rate, and the final night on points at the Hyatt across from the former Hard Rock to be near the airport for an early morning flight.

    I will log into the thread for messages, or to provide quick updates or responses. I will write a full trip report upon my return, to do it right and save valuable Vegas time. I will note conditions on the ground in terms of openings and gaming conditions.

    If there are any areas of interest you have regarding Downtown, the Arts District, Bars/Breweries, or gaming conditions let me know and I'll report back the best I can. I plan on hitting the Strip and Downtown for a few nights each, Summerlin, possibly Henderson and other local casinos, and maybe a trip to Mt. Charleston and/or Red Rock in lieu of longer NP visits.

    Viva Las Vegas

     
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  2. Bluekitty

    Bluekitty Tourist

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    Thanks @Ramblin’Man - if you get to South Point, could you advise conditions, table mins, any UTH tables? Thinking of shifting from Strip to off and considering SP. Best of luck on your trip, and ‘hey’ to the family.
     
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  3. NittyOne

    NittyOne High-Roller

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    Seems interesting, I’m in.
     
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  4. jpw711

    jpw711 Is that your cat?

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    Post some pictures of the Sahara room please!
     
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  5. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Good luck! Hope to see good craft beer along the way!
     
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  6. Viva Las Vegas

    Viva Las Vegas Ramblin' Gamblin' Man

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    Thanks for the responses. Thought I had more room pics to post now, but will when I return

    Have a Marra Tower room 27th floor, great view of downtown.

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    Sahara fully compliant guests, a single craps and blackjack table open early Sunday evening, no temp check.

    Temp check to enter J W Marriott / Rampart.

    Aztec Inn had a few patrons and machines on, didn’t go into The STRAT since only one entrance was open.

    Great beers to start the trip, Arts District Brewers with reduced hours, at Hop Nuts now.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2020
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  7. hockeymom

    hockeymom Low-Roller

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    That’s a beautiful photo.
     
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  8. MikeOPensacola

    MikeOPensacola El Jefe

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    What are your thoughts on Sahara so far? I like the remodel they did when they changed over from SLS; I'd be interested to read how you like it there.

    Have a great trip!!

    :beer: :beer: :beer:
     
    Tower Suites for Two Weeks!!
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  9. NittyOne

    NittyOne High-Roller

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    Is there poker room open at Sahara? Seems highly unlikely but who knows.
     
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  10. Viva Las Vegas

    Viva Las Vegas Ramblin' Gamblin' Man

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    Thanks. This is my third time here since the original. I like the location (near the Arts District) and the rooms, the casino area looks much better as well since the SLS version.

    Not very crowded, one craps and two blackjack tables open early and late at night. I sent surprised based on the location.

    This is a Marra Tower room, an “upgrade” from their entry level tower. I like the room layout and space better, this was a free upgrade with the locals special booked.

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    They do have a room, wasn’t open when I passed at 2 am. Mirage and Harrahs poker rooms are gone. Saw Bally’s room (limit and no limit), assume Bellagio and Ceasars also had games. Also, limit games were not available on the list at the Flamingo, no evidence of the weekly/monthly freeroll they used to advertise prominently.

    Have lots of strip pictures, but will post from home. In terms of The Rona, mask enforcement is being strictly enforced for people walking around. Wynn was the only strip casino between Strat and Cosmo place with a security checkpoint before entering the casino (Rampart off strip as well), and the only one I didn’t enter besides V/P which I don’t like to enter. Sahara checkin agent checked body temperature of my brother who checked in for me (I took my nephew to the washroom). They don’t check temperatures entering the building or room elevators.

    Will keep responding to messages, but post full report likely next week.
     
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  11. chef

    chef Resident Buffetologist

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    Can't wait to get final update from one of my fave VMBers.
     
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  12. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Have a good time! Nice pics of Sahara!
     
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  13. NittyOne

    NittyOne High-Roller

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    Nice update. Also look forward to the rest.
     
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  14. Viva Las Vegas

    Viva Las Vegas Ramblin' Gamblin' Man

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    Sorry, but I will not have a chance to visit SouthPoint this trip.

    What I have observed to date is limited gaming tables, some casinos closing tables at 10pm or midnight, but all had at least one table open when the floor was open for “carny” games like UTH were offered downtown and on the Strip.

    My suggestion is to call South Point and ask for pit hours (midweek and weekend, they vary), and also whether UTH is offered, they should be able to answer regarding their current availability.

    My observations are just about all businesses, and most visitors are reacting responsibly. The primary Rona impact at this point is either the closure or reduced hours at places that are typically open 16-24 hours. I didn’t eat Tuesday (started searching near midnight), because I waited too long and most things were closed by the Sahara, Palace Station’s Seafood Restaurant had a long wait so I ate Wednesday afternoon. If you keep to a normal schedule and eat between 8am-8pm, folks should be able to find a good number of food options. My observations downtown, on strip and locals are crowds are typically only 1/3-1/2 of a normal equivalent, and businesses are scheduling accordingly.

    Mike,

    When I can get a resort free room here, it’s my preference over The Strat or Westgate with similar rates. I pick this location primarily for proximity to the Arts District / Brewery district. With no more WAX to SunCoast, this is also my most convenient place to get to my brother’s house (Sarah’s Express is a 35-40 minute ride with limited stops).

    The rooms are clean and nice with the exception of the room carpet which should either be cleaned more regularly or replaced. Still comfortable walking barefoot in the room, not always the case.

    They have limited “to go” food options in the hotel due to COVID. For people interested in plopping down and not leaving a property throughout a long weekend, I would not recommend it due to the minimal dining options inside and within walking distance. However, it’s fine if you are comfortable with the area and walking or driving to other places. It’s not very busy, the casino has less than 50% of patrons (machines and tables), so for those folks looking for a very isolated experience with the current Rona conditions, it’s one of the best if you want to gamble with few people around.

    I didn’t check the VP pay tables or gaming comp program, but doubt its much different than other Strip casinos.

    NittyOne,

    I haven’t spent time on the floor here besides entering / exiting. Tonight near midnight was the first time I saw the poker room open, a single low stakes NLH game. Hopefully you can find 3-4 day weekend games here.

    Really enjoyed my trip so far, looking forward to the rest of the trip, and to provide a bunch of pictures when I return home. Bottoms line is I’m really glad I came out here, nearly all situations are safe based on best available practices, it’s quieter and less crowded, but besides limited hours it has been a great trip my first week.

    Providing an update from my room, I returned just before midnight not because I was done, but based on current conditions. Taco el Gordo open 24/7 so brought that back pared with my remaining Beachwood IPA.

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  15. willowox

    willowox Low-Roller

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    Hope you have a great trip with lots of winning! Did you happen to notice if Rampart ended up opening their Buffalo Bar that I read about pre-Covid?
     
  16. NittyOne

    NittyOne High-Roller

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    I think would be cool to see how you do and approach your Arts District beer tour as well as pictures. Really interested and considering doing something similar at some point.

    I’m at the point where I’m not a fan of bourbon barrel aged heavy stouts, also not a fan of these beers full of additives, hazy IPAs etc. I’m looking for stuff like what Jester King, Jolly Pumkin, Hill Farmstead and Suarez do. A lot of barrel aged Wild Ales, farmhouse ales, crisp well done lagers the way Suarez does it. Also gueze type beers from Belgium. Anyone locally in Vegas doing stuff like this or anyplace that has a decent selection of beers like this?
     
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  17. Viva Las Vegas

    Viva Las Vegas Ramblin' Gamblin' Man

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    I will break up the report into posts covering a day or days. Will address COVID conditions or other questions as well. Beer ratings are on a .25 scale between 1 (poor) 3 (average) and 5 (excellent), will just post the overall score (omitting appearance, aroma, taste and mouthfeel).

    Saturday October 10
    • Metra to downtown & CTA Orange Line to Midway. So glad SWA is moving to ORD next year! $3
    • SWA Flight was great, on-time, great distancing (no middle seats unless your family/friends were taking a whole row). I believe they announced 108 total passengers on board. Everyone around me was respectful in terms of mask wearing, the crew was great as well. $129 One Way
    • Brother and eldest nephew picked me up at McCarran. Stayed at his house the night, after picking up beer provisions at Khoury's in Henderson $45 and buying Pop's Philly Steak's for brother and I $27.
    First win of the trip, Lucky Boarding Pass B17!
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    Provisions from Khourey's, great $6 sales price on the 2016 Framboise Boon, first time for Beachwood Melrose (4.75) and the $6 sale price Stone Espresso Totalitarian (4.0). Shared two Beer Zombie collaborations the first night, Galaxy Revenge (Mason Aleworks) (4.5) & Wizard & Zombies (3.5).

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    Always go Bell Pepper Cheese (Whiz), wit (onions) and fries at Pop's.

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    Last edited: Oct 20, 2020
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  18. NittyOne

    NittyOne High-Roller

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    Looking forward to more.
     
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  19. NittyOne

    NittyOne High-Roller

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    One odd thing about Pop’s is I remember it being owned by the family of a guy who started the All Vegas Poker website.
     
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  20. Viva Las Vegas

    Viva Las Vegas Ramblin' Gamblin' Man

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    Saturday Beer Wrap Up

    Beachwood Melrose
    - 16 oz $4.06 w/ tax, WCIPA / American IPA canned 8/24/20. Appearance 4.25; Aroma 4.25; Taste 4.75; Mouthfeel 4.5; Overall 4.75.

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    Mason Aleworks / Beer Zombies Collaboration Galaxy Revenge
    - Gift 5 oz sample from 16 oz can, NEIPA, 8% ABV. Release date 9/11/20. 4.25 / 4.0 / 4.5 / 4.5 / 4.5).

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    Brujos Brewing / Beer Zombies Collaboration Wizards and Zombies
    - Gift 5 oz sample, Triple Hazy IPA, 10.5% ABV, release date 9/5/20. 4.0 / 3.75 / 3.5 / 3.75 / 3.5.

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    Stone Espresso Totalitarian - 12 oz can, Imperial Russian Stout, 10.6%, canned 2/23/19. 4.0 / 4.25 / 4.5 / 3.5 / 4.0.

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    Total Beer: 38 oz.

    Sunday October 11


    Took a nice walk with my brother and nephews (4 & 2) stroller from my brother's house near the Summerlin Hospital to the J.W. Marriott and back down Canyon Run Road. They check for temperature and have you lower your mask so they have your face on film, one of the few casinos I went this trip that I went through those procedures. They have a nice Koi pond and walkway in the property.

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    Had In n Out with the family, paired with a Beachwood Citraholic, and watched a bit of the PGA Shriners event a couple miles from us and then my brother drove me to The Sahara to check in, the Eldest came with as he likes to check out hotels.
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    Fake candles
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    Brother booked for me to take advantage of a no resort fee locals offer by The Sahara, which included a free upgrade to the Marra Tower. I really like the layout of these rooms compared to the Blanca Tower rooms with the weird metal bathroom sink setup in the room. View and room pictures are linked accordingly from my earlier updates above. $271 all in with taxes. Not much in terms of food options at this point, the main bar and a few table games were open throughout the trip. There were many more people playing table games at the Stratosphere throughout the week. I like rooms near the Arts District to hit the various downtown breweries, as I no longer gamble much of anything these days.

    They returned home, got situated in the room, watched the start of Game 1 of the Tampa Bay Rays vs. Houston Game (Tampa Bay won 2-1). Had my second Beachwood Melrose this trip while watching. Marra rooms have refrigerators, so happy to store a few beers for my five night stay. Beautiful Downtown Las Vegas Nevada.

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    Dark before seven, heading to the Arts District. Most breweries and some bars had shorter hours and or a few weekdays axed from operations as compared to my pre-Covid trip in early March. I first walked to Beer District Brewing, but it was closed by 6PM. Kept going to HopNuts, the lone brewery I hit on Sunday, Summerlin and the room before heading out early Sunday evening.

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    Aztec Inn had several total customers, restaurant was empty where I took this picture.

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    New Welcome to Downtown Las Vegas sign, a replacement of the original knocked down by a drunk driver a few years ago. Construction from just south of downtown through the Fashion Mall the entire trip. I asked a construction worker the projected finish and he said "years", not sure if he was joking or serious.

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    Sad Beer District Brewing was closed at least an hour before I made it.

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    Three Sheets (Floor One) and The Mad Fermentist (Floor Two) were also closed by 7PM this Sunday.

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    All breweries I visited had the same rules. Socially distant seating was available, outdoors when possible. Masks required to enter or walk around, staff all wore masks at all times. Felt very comfortable, similar practices to Chicago. Hop Nuts charges tax above and beyond the listed price, some places charge the total listed all in (beer + tax). I had three 16 oz draft pours during my approximate 3 hour visit. Hop Nuts closed promptly at ten with only a few customers throughout the evening. They typically close at midnight + on weekdays.

    Yea, someone is selling beer in Vegas. First pint, Hop Nuts Festbier - $6.50 w/ tax, 16 oz, 4.0 / 3.25 / 3.75 / 3.5 / 3.5. This is more like a Pilsner than a traditional Marzin or Festbier. I asked the bartender to confirm I asked for the right beer, and he confirmed this was not a traditional Festbier, but rather the head brewer's take on a Festbier.

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    Second beer, Hop Nuts Wetter The Better IPA, $8.67 w/ tax. This is a wet or fresh hop beer Hop Nuts brews each Fall, 6.7% ABV. I'm glad to have my first one. Full review linked here. I rated this 4.0 overall, and ordered a few more before leaving town on return visits. Highly recommend if you like a fresh WCIPA.

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    Final beer of the evening, Hop Nuts Best Coast Double IPA. Full review linked here. This beer weighs in at 8.2%, costs $8.67, I rated it a solid DIPA (3.75), Simcoe, Citrus and Mosiac are the hops, a common hop mix used by this brewery.

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    Closed out my tab at 9:51 PM. Next post will capture pictures and observations on a long walk up the Strip to the Cosmopolitan before heading back on the other side on this Sunday of Columbus Day Weekend.

    Total Sunday Beer: 80 oz.

    Cheers!
     
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