1. Welcome to VegasMessageBoard
    It appears you are visiting our community as a guest.
    In order to view full-size images, participate in discussions, vote in polls, etc, you will need to Log in or Register.

Let's All Went to Laughlin--A Total Rewards Junket Recap

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Trip Reports' started by FullPay, Nov 4, 2019.

  1. FullPay

    FullPay When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Messages:
    2,831
    Location:
    Derby City, Kentucky
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    110

    My Trip Report

    My wife and I went on this trip due to the value of the Junket (Two nonstop roundtrip seats with four room nights for $368) and because we’ve never been to Laughlin. I didn’t take enough pictures to do a daily narrative, so I’ll share a few pics and my general impressions.

    The Travel
    thumbnail_IMG_3951.jpg
    (Deplaning at Bullhead International)

    Experiencing the junket was the primary reason for taking this trip. We were on a waiting list for seats. I found out that the last day to cancel reservations without penalty was September 30, and we received an automated call on October 7th saying seats were available first come, first served. Well, we were a long way from first as or assigned seats were way back in row 25. The aircraft was a B737/800 series with the new skinny plastic seats. We received no advance paperwork other than an email consent form. When we arrived at the airport they had several gate agents working and had boarding passes arranged by alphabet in two lines. We checked one huge bag and had our boarding passes within twenty minutes of arrival. Unfortunately their boarding passes did not contain anywhere to annotate our pre-check status, so the entire contingent had to go through normal screening, creating a bit of a backup. Once on board I confirmed that our seats were two aisle seats in the same row. I realized that the entire airplane was assigned to groups of two persons, so you either got middle/window or aisle/aisle. This was out of our control, at least as a standby, so I felt that was the first win of the trip. Seat assignments were identical on the flight home, so best to play well with your neighbors. We received the first alcoholic beverage free and a free snack pack that contained salami, of all things. I presented the flight attendant with a bag of chocolates and she assured us that our next round would also be on the house. After landing we loaded onto three buses, we were greeted outside the hotel and given a packet with our room keys and were in the room within 30 minutes of landing. Other than a fridge and a drip coffee maker the South tower rooms were satisfactory if unremarkable. The return trip began with bag collection from the room at 5AM and bus loading at 6AM. It took about an hour to pass through security. Outside of security there were beverage/snack vending machines. Inside security was a small snack bar which sold beverages, snacks, and microwaveable foods but no alcohol. Another bag of chocolates for the flight attendants earned us an immediate double on our vodkas and plentiful service for the flight home.
    thumbnail_IMG_3977.jpg
    thumbnail_IMG_3954.jpg thumbnail_IMG_3953.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2019
    • Like Like x 11
    • Love Love x 2
  2. FullPay

    FullPay When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Messages:
    2,831
    Location:
    Derby City, Kentucky
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    110
    The Gambol


    I was very disappointed with the VP pay tables, generally 6/5 Bonus, 7/5 Jacks, 8/5 DDB and 9/5 or 6 on Double. At Harrah’s the pay tables didn’t improve much away from the bar or at higher denominations. I spotted an 8/5 Bonus in the HL area, but you don’t get that until $5. One large craps table seemed to remain at $5 during the week but generally had 6 players per side. Everyone was nice enough letting you squeeze in but I only played two sessions because of it. Slightly ahead for the first two nights, then a slow drain as I couldn't seem to hit any more quads.

    The Highlights:
    thumbnail_IMG_3963.jpg thumbnail_IMG_3978.jpg thumbnail_IMG_3981.jpg
     
    • Like Like x 4
  3. FullPay

    FullPay When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Messages:
    2,831
    Location:
    Derby City, Kentucky
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    110
    The Drink


    I played away from the bar a few times and was generally approached by a CW within five minutes. At the bar they had the green light system, but they mostly were using it to explain to newbies why they were not getting free drinks. Once my wife and I established ourselves as players and tippers the drinks were nonstop. They also didn’t play the ‘red light’ game if I stopped to use the phone or eat or obviously stop playing. The bartender also suggested that instead of alternating between beer and bourbon that I should enjoy them both at the same time, which is my favorite rule to ignore. Nobody would comp above Maker’s and Jim/Jack, but the pours were generous.



    thumbnail_IMG_3980.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2019
    • Like Like x 7
    • Love Love x 1
  4. FullPay

    FullPay When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Messages:
    2,831
    Location:
    Derby City, Kentucky
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    110
    Overall impression


    Every server was very nice. The eight casinos are easily walkable. There is one small dispensary across the street from Aquarius. However, as others have stated, Harrah’s is isolated from the main group. The Riverwalk does not extend past the Laughlin River Lodge, and the only walking option is up a hill and down another. Escaping Harrah’s on foot begins with a flight of one hundred stairs, and nobody recommends it. Taxis were scarce, generally taking fifteen minutes to come when called. Water taxi was more fun but still involved waiting. Wifi service was spotty and Uber/Lyft showed no drivers. At Harrah’s we ate a barely passable brunch buffet for about fifteen dollars each. Most breakfast plates in the café were also fifteen dollars. Service at the steakhouse was excellent, my ribeye was perfectly prepared and seasoned, but I serious doubt that the meat was USDA Prime. We skipped the Guy Fieri experience. Sadly the best meal of the trip was cheeseburgers and fries from Smashburger. I would probably repeat a Laughlin stay under the right circumstances, but I have no reason to return to Harrah’s Laughlin.


    thumbnail_IMG_3987.jpg thumbnail_IMG_3998.jpg thumbnail_IMG_4004.jpg
     
    • Like Like x 7
    • Informative Informative x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. Vegas28m

    Vegas28m Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2013
    Messages:
    357
    Location:
    Chicago
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    25
    thanks for the report!
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  6. Viva Las Vegas

    Viva Las Vegas Ramblin' Gamblin' Man

    Joined:
    May 31, 2008
    Messages:
    2,990
    Location:
    Chicago
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    56
    I had a free charter with my two brothers to Laughlin a few decades ago based on my play at Joliet. We rented a car and drove to the Grand Canyon and then to Vegas. The host in Laughlin said Vegas was busy and we wouldn't get a comp, but we got a comp at Harrah's, my brothers had a blast ordering beer and free shrimp cocktails via Vegas room service, and it was a very memorable trip. On Saturday morning before driving to the Grand Canyon (Friday through Monday trip), a guy was up over $20K, which in the 90's was more money than today. We told him to cash out and go to bed, but he kept playing. The shady management had a literal huge spot light on him, which between the liquor and his tired demeanor was really impacting him adversly. They said they were preparing for a photo shoot, I asked why can't they do this elsewhere or after the player left, and they were adamant that they "MUST" keep the flood lights on this tired drunken gambler up $20K. Sadly he ended up losing it all.

    Sad to say 20 years later, Harrah's / CET Management hasn't changed a bit. Like visiting the river in Laughlin, but as to the gambling, Harrah's can keep their crappy VP pay tables and food, no thank you. Better to take the $8-$10 bus to/from Vegas for the day than to commit to gambling with their poor odds.

    Glad you enjoyed your trip!
     
    Fourth Annual Westward Ho Ho Ho Christmas Trip!!!
    First Ever Leap Year Day Vegas Trip! Viva Retirement!!!
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Wow! Wow! x 1
  7. Kobra2848

    Kobra2848 VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2011
    Messages:
    1,714
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    38
    Thanks for the report. I have spent one night in Laughlin on our way back home from Vegas with my parents. I also was surprised the VP didn’t pay better but after being in Vegas the previous seven days I was almost gambled out. The highlight of the stay was my mom winning $2000 on keno to put her up for the trip after not having a good run in Vegas.

    Mark
     
    • Like Like x 2
  8. zignerlv

    zignerlv VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Messages:
    1,018
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    65
    With a name like fullpay, I'm surprised you would even visit HL, considering their now poor VP!
     
  9. zignerlv

    zignerlv VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Messages:
    1,018
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    65
    Actually, it's changed quite a bit, as management used to allow decent VP, and the "crappy VP pay tables" certainly weren't crappy, and you don't have to go back 20 years for that. They had NSUD for many years until about 9 years ago. Years before that they had 10/7 DB. Those certainly weren't crappy. Not to mention the famous 50 play 9/6 JoB 5c machines that were set as slots, not VP, allowing VP players to do Diamond in a Day with only about $15k coin in, without a lot of risk (relatively). The slots loophole was removed, but the machines remained until about 10 years ago. That was FAR from crappy VP. So, no, things HAVE changed there... a lot, in the last 20 years!
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2019
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Informative Informative x 1
  10. steveks225

    steveks225 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2015
    Messages:
    121
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    81
    Thanks for your report. Unfortunately it's about what I expected to read. The Aquarius is the only property that has a decent inventory of full pay VP. It's as if the properties in Laughlin know they're going to do X amount of business monthly, and see no need to offer nice hotel rooms, decent restaurant food and service, and casino floors that would attract more action than what they've seen in years. When those factors are added to a probably declining customer demographic over the years, trip reports like yours are unfortunately the norm.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  11. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    Messages:
    20,041
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    22
    Nice report! Bummer the bartops forcing you to bet 10 for a full royal at quarters.
     
  12. richardinbc

    richardinbc Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2002
    Messages:
    324
    Location:
    Mission B.C.
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    10
    I have been going to Laughlin more years than I care to remember.

    The Colorado Belle was under construction once. I remember going by it on a water taxi.

    The gaming is just awful. I think it is right there with the strip in returns.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  13. The Rumor

    The Rumor VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2015
    Messages:
    3,405
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    20
    This was an extremely helpful report for me as I think about this location. Thank you!
     
    Football Weekend
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. kkinwi

    kkinwi VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2016
    Messages:
    1,141
    Location:
    Northern WI
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    80
    Great info....I haven't been there for a few years and am contemplating a weekend in Feb. Thanks!