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NFC @ NFR (and Tahoe!)... thirteen days, six hotels, five hats

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by notfromconcentrate, Dec 7, 2018.

  1. rooster42000

    rooster42000 Patriots #1

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    Great report NFC
     
  2. nfajgmbr03

    nfajgmbr03 Low-Roller

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    You're much bolder than me on problems you encounter. I just let them roll if they're not a big deal. Good posts though.
     
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  3. notfromconcentrate

    notfromconcentrate High-rolling diner. Low-rolling gambler.

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    Made it through security with more than an hour to spare before boarding. Geez, I coulda stayed in that tournament! Now that would have been a gamble :)
     
    My “everything I missed in past trips” trip
  4. GamblingGolfer

    GamblingGolfer High-Roller

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    Thanks for the ride, NFC ... looking forward to the recap when you're back in the C of the U (as we west coast Canadians call it .... ;).

    GG
     
    On the way to Palm Springs!
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  5. ffejry

    ffejry #1 Bears Fan

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    No time to go through this (yet, just started break today), but looking forward to it and just wanted to say the only reason I knew you had a TR (or possibility of a TR) going is because of the accidental discovery of that live stream!! You look super fun to hang with, my friend.

    Can't wait to read this TR. Be good!
     
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  6. Johnzimbo

    Johnzimbo VIP Whale

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    That was me playing VP at the 7-11.





    But that was not my kid in the stroller ;):)
     
    Big Game weekend again
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  7. marcianofan

    marcianofan Low-Roller

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    You’re not one of those guys/gals who pushes around a chihuahua in a stroller with a ribbon on its head are you??
     
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  8. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    It was me in the stroller. Damn you, Captain Morgan!!
     
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  9. notfromconcentrate

    notfromconcentrate High-rolling diner. Low-rolling gambler.

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    I’ll probably have time to update the report tomorrow or the day after. Just out drinking with Eddie now and we’re taking a break with some McDoubles now

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    I also hid his beer under his hat earlier tonight and somehow ended up writing part of the Instagram story in Russian

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    My “everything I missed in past trips” trip
  10. Gino

    Gino "The King of Inappropriate."

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    Damn dude, 5 McDoubles!!!

    Wow, tip of the cap to you...as a fat man (former, and current) I think my best was 3 in a sitting.

    Enjoy being able to do that shit in your 20's and 30's..Try that in your 40's and you'll need a doctor, or a laxative.
     
    Caesars Atlantic City - Fireworks and Foolishness
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  11. notfromconcentrate

    notfromconcentrate High-rolling diner. Low-rolling gambler.

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    Three are me, two are Eddie :p I don’t think I could do five, haha

    Yup, I’ve been told that indulging this way is something I can’t do forever. Funny thing, I actually have an initial consultation with a trainer this afternoon that I arranged a few weeks ago, as it’s been my goal to straighten out my regime a bit for some time now. As I was ordering the McDoubles, I was actually thinking it’s possible they could be the last ones for a while.

    I just hope the trainer’s recommendations won’t affect my Vegas indulgences too much :oops:
     
    My “everything I missed in past trips” trip
  12. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    You're good. I've been assured that calories don't count in Vegas. :wink2:
     
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  13. CaptCampion

    CaptCampion Low-Roller

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    The 5 doubles ARE the laxative

     
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  14. notfromconcentrate

    notfromconcentrate High-rolling diner. Low-rolling gambler.

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    Alright, let’s get this TR wrapped up. Getting in with the “you didn’t finish this TR until the next year” joke before someone else beats me to it :)

    As a side note, the new direction I’m planning to take with TRs is that I will only make live postings on the fly, no “later updates” like this one. I think that’s important both for the quality of the report itself, and for my own personal workflows... especially because when I have several tasks on the go, it’s hard to justify taking out a chunk of time to write up a proper update.

    Apologies for taking this long, the trip itself was very go-go-go as usual, and then so was everything at home once I got back.

    Okay, so where we left off was the California. I’d just flown back in from Reno/Tahoe, and was using the California as a crash pad to do laundry at. I don’t want to say this was a bad idea, but it was a less than optimal place to do laundry for two reasons... the first reason being that it was very poorly maintained, the second reason being that it’s quite a bit out of the way, off of the hotel’s property. You have to walk under the highway overpass, and it’s a bit of a shady stretch... definitely not somewhere you want to be walking alone when it’s dark out.

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    So, what do I mean when I say it was very poorly maintained? It’s a number of things... first, the detergent vending machine was broken, and seemed to have been for quite some time. Meaning that I then had to unload my washer, and go all the way back to Main Street Station to buy detergent at their gift shop.

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    At least it was an opportunity to do a good deed with the remaining detergent, though.

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    Second, the machines were in only marginally good shape at best. This is something I could tell both from the general feel of the machines, and from one specific dryer that decided to get my quarters stuck... I complained to the front desk about this showing them the photo of the jammed coin mechanism and asked if they could give me my $1.25 back (really, I shouldn’t have to pay twice because their machine doesn’t work), but they said they couldn’t do anything. I mean I’m not bothered, it’s $1.25. But I think that it’s much more about taking accountability for your facilities and what damages they’ve caused your paying guests.

    For all I know it could have just been a matter of the person at the desk being lazy (and, frankly, it being a waste of time for everyone involved). Though I think it’s just a tad disrespectful to implicitly say “This isn’t worth our time and we’re going to keep your money anyway”.

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    Then, third... they also had a vending machine for laundry sacks. Which I thought was a great idea... I can just pay $0.75 for a reusable bag to haul my finished laundry back to the hotel with without having to bring my rolling luggage. I assumed this would work. I assumed incorrectly...

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    So now here I was with a full load of laundry done and dry, and absolutely nothing to carry it in. Which meant I had to get a little creative, with the jacket I was wearing...

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    I felt about ten different kinds of ridiculous carrying this down the street... though I couldn’t help but laugh at just how silly the whole situation was at this point :)

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    Okay, complaining over. Bottom line, try to do laundry somewhere other than Cal/MSS.

    Now off to Nacho Daddy. I’d always somehow had a prejudice against going to this place, partially because it had too “corporate” of a vibe for me... and because I find that restaurants with punny/goofy names are rarely any good. I kept seeing good review after good review though, and finally caved. I’m glad I did... it was an excellent experience! I had the “Golden Knights Nacho”... basically nachos with filet mignon, a few different cheeses, mushrooms, onions, and peppers. Very good, would definitely go back! It was a shame that I couldn’t have a margarita with it (I didn’t have the foresight to have a snack beforehand, and drinking on an empty stomach always ends poorly for me). Next time though.

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    Gotta love this bathroom door sign!

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    Now off to El Cortez to claim my Allegiant credit. To be clear, you get three things with this... a glass of beer or wine, a $10 matchplay for blackjack, and somewhere between $10 and $1,000 in freeplay that you get assigned from the promo kiosk.

    The mechanics couldn’t be simpler... just go up to the players club desk, show them your boarding pass and players card, and they’ll activate the promo on your card. Just go up to the kiosk, “choose” your freeplay, and it will load that onto your card, and print you out your matchplay and drink vouchers.

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    Blackjack matchplay was a winner. The dealer and I both thought I lost at first, with my card total being 8 A 4 8. Somehow our brains registered that as being 22. I had even set my feet to turn around and walk away, when she realized it and said “sir, that’s 21”. Whoops!

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    Then off to Golden Gate to claim my match play. Similarly simple, show them my boarding pass, and they give me two $25 matchplay chips that I can use on blackjack, craps, or roulette. I also had a $25 matchplay voucher from American Casino Guide, so I claimed that too. I’ve seen pictures of these chips before, but never to scale... they’re big! I’ve never handled them personally, but probably the same size as the oversized high-limit chips.

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    I was in a rush to get to my suite at Rio, so I decided to play these chips later on. Got to see a funny sight on the way out though, with a lost dice under the roulette table and the stickman trying to dig it out!

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    Got in my Lyft down to Rio, checked in, and spent quite some time just drooling at the beauty of the suite. So amazing! I’ve already posted all the pictures of the room itself.

    Now, I’ll take this opportunity to mention that there were a few things wrong with the room’s upkeep, and with how the problems were handled when I brought them up.

    Relatively minor, but still gross, the taps had a lot of limescale on them. You’d think that they’d take better care of one of their better suites...

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    The drain in the shower didn’t function too well either. After more than a minute after turning off the water, it was still like a bath in there.

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    This also reflected pretty poorly on the maintenance of the place, for this much dust to have been able to accumulate

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    Being a platinum Total Rewards member, I had access to the VIP front desk, who gave the usual blow-off “we’ll take off the resort fee for one night” response when I showed them this picture. Okay, sure, whatever.

    Then, what really took the cake was the inside door lock (I couldn’t find the right term for this, but you’ll know what I mean when you see it). It’s (generally) supposed to be impossible to open from the outside, right? Well, let’s just say that wasn’t the case. Three pushes and it was wide open...

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    As a solo traveller, this is absolutely frightening to realize, especially when I realized it at the end of my stay, meaning I was unknowingly exposed to this risk the whole time. I took this to the front desk too, showing them the video, and they said that since they’ve already taken off one resort fee and I should have reported this sooner, they “cannot offer any further compensation at this time”.

    Yeah, no... not happening.

    Asked for the supervisor, to whom I showed the video. She seemed to have a bit more sympathy, and took off the second night’s resort fee. Really though, it’s quite surprising that the rooms are this poorly maintained. I absolutely loved the room for what it was, but I’m questioning whether or not I want to stay at the Rio again if this is how they run things.

    The other thing that killed my experience at Rio was their policy regarding bathrobes. So, I find it weird enough to begin with that you wouldn’t automatically include bathrobes with a room that has a jacuzzi tub. Perhaps I’m expecting too much, but that seems about as logical as serving a steak with a steak knife... not actually necessary, but kind of part of the experience.

    When I checked in, I asked if a robe could be sent up. Their response was “that’s for diamond and seven stars only, but since you’re staying in a suite I may be able to make an exception”. Ummm, okay. Made the inquiry, seemed to be approved, and I thought that would be that.

    I went out for a bit, came back, and to my surprise there was no robe. I called housekeeping to ask what the deal was with it and they said “I don’t know who told you that... but bathrobes are for diamond and seven stars only... you can buy a robe for $75, but that’s the only option”. Asked if it means anything at all that I’m staying in one of their highest categories of suites, they said it didn’t mean anything. So I ended that call.

    Then on my way back out I asked the front desk what the deal was. I’ve gotten two different answers here, and I just want a damn bathrobe... what’s so complicated here? That front desk agent then gave me a third answer, saying “who told you you can buy it for $75? We don’t have that option here at all”... wtf?! Out comes the supervisor, who then gave me the “diamond and seven stars” song and dance but said she would phone the director of housekeeping herself and make sure it happens.

    Which, ultimately, it did, thank goodness. But I think that above and beyond the taps/drain/door lock issues, this reflects the worst on the Rio. Not just because of the attitude towards the whole thing, but also how I got literally three different answers in the three times I asked. Something’s up with the way they run this place... especially when I’ve requested a bathrobe at Harrah’s Laughlin (which is hardly a luxury resort) before and was given it without issue.

    Sorry, that should be my last complaint of this update. So now we’re back to Monday evening... got in the limo to Sapphire to watch Monday Night Football. A very good time! For those unfamiliar with the package, you pay $20, and you get dedicated seating to watch the game in their showroom... plus two drinks, all-you-can-eat food from a buffet, and raffle giveaways all night. Plus free transport as usual. Made for a great start to the evening.

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    The buffet was decent. There was salad, fruit, chicken wings, roast beef, hot dogs, pasta, and some sweets.

    Stayed for the duration of the game, and a bit of time afterward. Not too busy in the main club, lots of 21 year olds there. Hung out for about an hour watching the girls on the stage, and got a few dances as well.

    Got a Sapphire hat too!

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    Then off to Jewel at Aria. Bit of a long story, but I was on the guest list of the headlining act, Hardnox... so I bypassed the line, and didn’t pay entry.

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    Great time as usual. I’ve been to a handful of Vegas nightclubs now, and this is the only one that I really liked.

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    Then off to the room to soak in the jacuzzi before bed

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    Then got room service the next morning. I will say that room service is one thing Rio did quite well. Good food, and not horribly overpriced either. Chicken fried steak with a side of fruit came to $34 all-in. It was even better enjoying it while watching Jerry Springer, which happens to be one of my favourite shows... I don’t watch TV at home, so it’s always a treat to see Jerry.

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    This day was mostly a “relax” day. Did some work in the room, read a bit, and generally took a few hours to kick back and take it easy. Very much needed.

    Then off to McMullan’s Irish pub behind the Orleans for dinner. This place came very highly recommended on TripAdvisor. I wasn’t really wowed by it, about an average Irish pub from my perspective.

    Also got some play in. One random chip stack photo from blackjack at Gold Coast (I was about $50 ahead here), and a nice hit on one of the penny slots back at Rio, $81.20 on a $0.88 bet.

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    Got room service again the next morning too. Oriented the furniture so I could enjoy the view while having breakfast. I seriously could not get enough of that view, just amazing.

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    Checked out, and did some work at the bar for a few hours. It got dark out in that time, and I thought the Rio sign looked pretty cool with the night sky

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    Caught this on my way out of the Rio, on one of their trash cans. Very professionally done guys...

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    Now off to El Cortez. This would be my second time staying in their vintage king suite, though with a totally different layout from the last one. Liked this way better though! Nice and roomy, and has that unspoiled “vintage” feel.

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    Thought this was a funny-looking way to label the iron :)

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    Then off to Piero’s for dinner. Great meal as always. Started off with their sampler, which consisted of fried mozzarella and some ricotta/spinach stuffed pasta

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    House salad

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    Then had their seafood pasta for the main course. It was good, lots of seafood. But the pasta itself didn’t have a whole lot of flavour. I wouldn’t re-order this personally. I’ve been thoroughly impressed with everything else from Piero’s though, so this hardly taints my perception of them. I’ll still be back every trip, foreseeably.

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    Then chocolate mousse cake and a “spark plug” shooter for dessert. That consists of vanilla vodka, espresso, and Kahlua concentrate. One of the best mixed drinks I’ve ever had. Worth every penny of the $15 price tag.

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    Now off to the Neon Museum. This is a must-do. The signs in the “boneyard” were awesome to see, especially with a tour guide. Then the “Brilliant” experience, where they take signs that they couldn’t restore and put a projection overlay on them to “revive” them, was a fantastic show. When booking you have the option of doing any one or both, I very much recommend doing both, if you’re into Vegas history.

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    Then off to do some gaming for the night. First stop was the D, got my $25 matchplay from American Casino Guide (this was a regular chip size). Played it on the pass line in craps and lost. Ah well.

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    Back to Elco, played three-play wheel poker just enough to get one spin of the wheel. Got 100 credits... oh joy... :)

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    Then off to bed, as I’d have an early morning the next day, to go cycling in Red Rock. Had some pancakes at 1941 to load up on carbs, on my cyclist friend’s advice.

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    Right as I was finishing up (friend was waiting outside, so I had to inhale the remainder of my food), this guy approached me and asked “are you notfromconcentrate?”... it was @FullPay! I wish he’d recognized me sooner, so that we could have had a chance to talk for a bit. Sadly, I had to run straight away, but we did have time to briefly exchange pleasantries and take a selfie for the TR :) hope I’ll get to run into you again, Fullpay!

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    So Red Rock was wonderful. My riding skills though, not so wonderful :) I only have experience riding a mountain bike, not a racing bike... and I came to discover just how different of an experience it is.

    I had grand aspirations to go the whole 30+ mile route my friend had planned out for us... it ended up being just seven miles based on my endurance :) she’s a competitive cyclist who often rides 100+ miles at a time, so I can see why she thought 30-ish miles would be easy.

    I also couldn’t comfortably sit down for a few days from how much that bike seat hurt to sit on. We ended up seeing the “loop” and some other sights by car. Overall an excellent experience, and so great to see my friend who I haven’t seen in quite some time!

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    Hung out downtown for a bit, then went up to Silver Nugget to eat and play for a bit, then attend their open mic comedy show. Took advantage of this promo... I thought it was great value. I got the Carne Asada.

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    The last time I was here, the blackjack table was $3 minimum. Turns out on Thursdays it’s $1 minimum. I’ll take it!

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    Now, two minor setbacks here...

    1. They didn’t comp drinks on this table... which I understand, and I actually really appreciate them being transparent about instead of making excuses like other casinos do. I was actually ready to go buy a drink from the bar, but I was too into the game to get around to it... which is why no drink service (whether free or paid) is still something I’d consider a setback

    2. They have an unwritten rule that despite the table’s limits being $1 to $50, one cannot increase their bet to more than 3x what their prior bet was. So if I bet $1, I can’t bet more than $3 the next hand. I discovered this when I was on a roll and tried to go from a $6 bet to a $25 bet. They said I can’t bet more than $18. I asked why and they explained. I told them that’s ridiculous, and to colour me up because I won’t play with a silly rule like that. Turns out they can waive that rule, so they did that and I kept playing.

    I was in for $80 total and came out with $80, but was up to over $140 at one point. One day I’ll learn to quit while I’m ahead :)

    Comedy show was pretty good. I was originally planning to do the open mic myself, but couldn’t bring myself to think up anything to talk about.

    Then off to Chicas Bonitas. After two visits now, this is by far my favourite strip club in Vegas. I can’t wait to take Eddie here next time we go to Vegas!

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    Then back to Fremont Street. First stop Golden Gate, to play my $75 matchplay, also on the pass line at craps playing $25 ($50 total) at a time. Won, lost, won... came away with $75 profit which I proceeded to donk off playing craps with my own money, and free bet blackjack.

    Then Binions to claim my two free drinks from their bullshit smartphone game.

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    Then picked up some White Castle, and proceeded to enjoy that on the bar in my room with a “free” beer from bartop video poker at Elco.

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    You already saw most of the photos from the very last day. One that I didn’t share yet though is of Elco’s prime rib. I loved it last time, but this one was utterly disappointing. I’ll stick with the Cal’s prime rib for now, that one is always consistently good.

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    Aaaand that would appear to be it, 76 pictures and one video later :)

    Thank you so much for following along guys. I hope everyone had a safe, happy, and enjoyable new year. I’ll be replying to some of the comments from earlier in this thread shortly.
     
    My “everything I missed in past trips” trip
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  15. DsqrdDGD909

    DsqrdDGD909 Tourist

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    Great trip report and wow what a view from the Rio.
     
  16. mr.vegas

    mr.vegas High-Roller

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    Thanks for the report, informative as usual.
     
  17. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

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    White Castle! Do you really hate yourself that much, lol. Seriously, good update. Biking through Red Rock is really hard, so you did well with seven miles. I did it once years ago, biked the entire loop, and was exhausted for the rest of the day
     
    Super Bowl time
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  18. GamblingGolfer

    GamblingGolfer High-Roller

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    Great recap, @notfromconcentrate, and thanks for taking the post trip time to do it. I know what you mean about the 'time' needed post trip ... seems that you get home and all sorts of other stuff begs your attention .....

    I'm on the side of the fence that admires your taking on the problems/inefficiences that you run across. I haven't stayed in the Rio for years, but do wonder how much time and effort CET is taking to keep it up to snuff.

    Cheers, GG.
     
    On the way to Palm Springs!
  19. notfromconcentrate

    notfromconcentrate High-rolling diner. Low-rolling gambler.

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    Two things I forgot to add...

    Rio suite run-through... it looks even better in motion:

    When I was at Harrah’s in Reno, I noticed the gaming tables had menus on them, showing what drinks one could get comped as Platinum or as Diamond/Seven Star. I’ve seen no info about this elsewhere, so I thought this would be good to share here.

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    My “everything I missed in past trips” trip
  20. sabrina

    sabrina Low-Roller

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    Great report, as always!