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NYE in Vegas... What an experience! And... 1st time hand-pay!

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by JRRestoule, Jan 11, 2017.

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  1. JRRestoule

    JRRestoule VIP Whale

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    My Trip Report

    My last trip report was live which I thought I may have been able to keep up with this trip, but considering I wasn’t solo this time and was with a first-timer I thought I’d ditch the play-by-play and focus on the trip at hand. Therefore what you get is a post-trip highlight reel...

    This trip was my gf’s first ever trip to Vegas... she is not a gambler... and to kill any suspense... she absolutely loved it!

    I won’t give a detailed day-by-day hour-by-hour report, instead I will touch on some of the things that I enjoyed, which may end up being a lot more detail than necessary anyway...

    December 30, 2016

    Flights were on time and uneventful. Arrived in the Holy Land at about 10:30pm.

    I rented a vehicle through Payless... reserved a full-size car and they gave me a loaded Buick Enclave which was pretty sweet.

    We hit up Wal-Mart on Eastern Ave after picking up the rental to grab some wobbly pops and snacks for the room then doubled back slightly to catch Sunset Rd back to LV Blvd as I wanted to give her the full experience of pulling into Vegas passing the famous Welcome sign and cruising down the Strip. Sensory overload... mission accomplished.

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    It was after midnight when we got to the Mirage and checked-in to a room on the 17th floor facing the Strip and volcano area, nice view! I had 2 comp nights and paid for the 3rd night so the total was just over $200 for the 3 nights which included NYE. A steal of a deal if you ask me!

    We got settled then went down to hang in the casino for a bit having drinks, playing a few slots and some blackjack to recoup the slot losses... similar to my last trip, lose in the slots, win at blackjack... yes, I should give up on the slots and focus more on blackjack as I’ve been quite successful at blackjack and always seem to lose at the slots...but I think the slots are fun, especially when you have a gambling partner so although I know I am more than likely to lose, I still do it for entertainment... and... you never know when your lucky day will be! Haha

    Finally hit the hay at about 4am.

    View from the room...
    MirageView1.jpg

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    December 31, 2016 - New Year’s Eve!!

    Spent the first part of the day touristing around checking out TI, Wynn, Encore, Palazzo & Venetian before heading back to the room at Mirage to get ready for our big NYE night. Had lunch at Maggiono’s at Fashion Show which was awesome as usual. I don’t think I gambled a penny during this time as I was being a tour guide which I thoroughly enjoyed this trip.

    We walked from Mirage down to Mandalay Bay, mostly out on the Strip so we were able to sightsee. We had plans to check out the interiors of the resorts the following day so we decided walking outside would be cool taking in the exteriors of the buildings. We got to Excalibur around 6pm and walked this last part inside, played a little at Luxor before arriving at Mandalay Bay where we were going to see Maroon 5. Played a few slots and a bit of blackjack at Mandalay prior to the show with no luck.

    The show was great! The scheduled start time was 8pm and there was a couple warm-up acts before Maroon 5 took the stage at 9:00pm. They played all their hits and we had a great time!

    Maroon5.jpg

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    It was about 11:00pm when we finally made it out of the venue and made our way through Mandalay Bay out to the Strip. It was pretty crowded leaving the venue...

    Maroon5-4.jpg

    Our plan was to walk as far as we could down toward Mirage prior to the big midnight celebration. It was cool to be able to walk down the entire Strip right on the street... there was a very festive mood in the air as we made it all the way down to Planet Hollywood before it got too crowded to go any further.

    NYE1.jpg

    It was about 11:50pm at this point. We were basically in the middle of the street in the intersection in front of Planet Hollywood and the entrance to Bellagio...

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    At 1 minute to midnight the screen on the Aria marquee began counting down... us along with about 300,000 of our closest friends were counting down as 2017 hit and the fireworks began going off! Planet Hollywood was one of the resorts to have fireworks and we had a perfect view...the fireworks were awesome lasting close to 10 minutes!

    NYE4.jpg

    The next half hour was something I have never experienced before and most likely never will again haha! I have never been anywhere that was so crowded in my life. It was absolutely jam-packed! We were literally squished from all sides to the point where it actually hurt on a couple occasions. The whole crowd swayed and every now and again we would be able to push through for a few small steps before stopping and getting extremely close to total strangers again haha It was definitely an experience I won’t forget! We had no control over which direction we were going and in about 30 minutes we moved about 50 feet and found ourselves going through a fence at the road entrance to Paris.

    On the other side of the fence we found some refuge and the plan was to wait out the crowd on the Strip before heading back out there and making our way to Mirage. I noticed some people going into the Paris casino so we decided to do that. I had thought they closed the doors but I guess by this time they had re-opened them.

    We made our way through Paris and Bally’s and went out the porte cochere of Bally’s in an attempt to get back onto the Strip via Flamingo Road but we were told we weren’t able to exit the fenced area on Flamingo Road. So we were stuck again. We decided to walk through Bally’s to the back where the food court is and were able to exit there out to the street. From here we walked down Linq Lane to the High Roller where we ended up cutting through the Linq and made it out to the Strip between the Linq and Harrah’s. By this time the crowd dissipated and we were able to walk to the Mirage.

    What an experience! I would definitely go back to Vegas for NYE in the future as the atmosphere and vibe are incredible. However, I will not be planning on being on the street in the middle of the Strip lol I’m super happy I got to experience it, and happy that there were no problems for us outside of the crowd, but next time I will definitely be in a different location at midnight.

    January 1, 2017

    Today our plan was to head back down the Strip going through each hotel and checking everything out, while having drinks and a gamble here and there. Essentially a Strip crawl from Mirage to NYNY and back on the other side. I played tour guide again and loved it! I’m sure I overloaded her with information as there was no way she could have remembered everything I was telling her haha

    Prior to taking off we ate at the buffet at Mirage. The food was good, but the cost was $80 for both of us which I thought was a little (or a lot) expensive for a lunch buffet. Part of my offer was $100 in resort credit so it didn’t cost me anything which was good otherwise I may have cried paying that much for a lunch buffet!

    We went through the Forum Shops, Caesars Palace, Bellagio, Aria, Monte Carlo, walked in The Park, NYNY, MGM Grand, Planet Hollywood, Cromwell, Flamingo, Linq, and Harrah’s. We skipped Paris and Bally’s as we had been there the night before and also because we were checking-in to Paris the following day for the last 2 nights of our trip (both comp).

    The only notable win on this journey was at Aria on a Big Bang Theory machine...
    BBTWin.jpg

    Once we got back at the Mirage it was later in the evening and we were quite tired from all the walking, drinks, and sightseeing. I played some blackjack and won $700 which basically recouped the day’s losses which was pretty awesome in my books!

    January 2, 2017

    Today we checked out of the Mirage and were moving to Paris for the last part of our trip. Prior to checking out I wanted to put a few more points on my MLife card as I was close to their gold level. So, I went to my favorite slot machine...the Return of the Sphinx... and proceeded to lose another $100 in this machine. This has been my go-to machine for the last 2-3 trips but this trip it has been a dud. Between this $100 and the $100 I put in on a previous day and the $100 freeplay I put through it, and the $100 I put through the one at Bellagio and the $100 I put through the one at Monte Carlo, I was starting to kinda hate this damn machine haha

    We checked out and grabbed the rental, planned to have lunch at the Peppermill but it was a 45 minute wait so we ditched that idea. We made a quick stop at the Pawn Stars shop before heading to the Premium Outlets to do some shopping. How do you get a first-time Vegas visitor who is not a gambler to love Vegas? Shopping! ;)

    Following the shopping trip we made a quick pit stop at the new Lucky Dragon casino to check that out. Very small, I probably will never be back, but it was nice to see. Got my $1 chip for my collection and then took off to check-in at Paris.

    View from room at Paris...
    ParisView.jpg

    We had dinner at Le Cafe at Paris which was yummy then made our way over to the Rio to catch Penn & Teller. I got us front row centre seats for the show and they were great! It was a fun show and I even got to participate in one of their tricks where they make an elephant turn into a chicken (well, a cow dressed as an elephant). Following the show I got to meet Penn and had him sign a copy of his latest book; Presto!

    Penn plays the bass prior to the show...
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    I'm pretty sure he was telling me I wasn't allowed to take any fkn pictures lol...
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    Penn and I after the show...
    JasonPenn.jpg

    The rest of the night was spent at Paris in the casino playing slots and blackjack. We also made it over to Bally’s that night for some blackjack as well. No luck L

    January 3, 2017

    We had brunch at Mon Ami Gabi and it was good! The temperature was just right and along with the heaters it was very comfortable to be seated on their patio. This was my first time here and I imagine I will be back.

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    We made our way downtown to check out Fremont Street... you know... first-timer gotta check that out too. Parked at Golden Nugget and made our way up and down checking out all the casinos and losing at slots, but having fun. I signed up for a players card at Golden Gate and proceeded to get 100 points to activate $10 in freeplay. I’m kinda surprised I didn’t already have a players card from here but I think I remember back in 2005 when I would have tried to get one that they didn’t have a players club back then. I could be wrong but I’m pretty sure I’m not.

    Anyhow I took that $10 in freeplay to a $1 Top Dollar machine and hit the bonus round. I was offered $110 so I took that and ran!

    On our way out I played some blackjack at the Golden Nugget to no avail.

    We made our way back to Paris to get ready for our night. We had tickets to see Le Reve at Wynn which I had seen back in 2005 and remember liking a lot. After getting ready we walked down the Strip having drinks. We caught part of the Mirage volcano show on our way by. We thought it was funny that although we had a room at Mirage for 3 nights facing the volcano we ended up seeing it from across the street 2 days after checking-out haha

    Made it to Wynn and played some slots and blackjack. Rough blackjack session couldn’t get anything going but still managed to only drop $25 at a $50 table so not bad.

    The show was great! The only part I remember from seeing it over 10 years ago was at the beginning when the drapery on the ceiling gets sucked through the centre ceiling. We both really enjoyed it!

    Following the show we were walking through the casino and I stopped at a Buffalo Grand machine and said we were going to play it. The gf said that she thought I was done with slots for the night and I said I had a feeling this one was going to pay. I am happy to say my feeling was 100% bang on! Throughout the week we kinda got hooked on the Buffalo machines... playing the Buffalo Grand, Buffalo Stampede, and Buffalo Gold almost every time we seen any of them where seats were open. They are popular machines. Every time we seen someone hit the bonus round they always seemed to win at least over $100 and a couple we seen were close to $1000. Unfortunately we had never got a bonus to this point...but that was about to change!

    Started with $100 and about $50 in we finally got the bonus! We hit the mini bonus for about $40 or so then got a 2x multiplier. We got some free spins as well and a couple retriggers and after all was said and done we had won a little over $220. Nice! So we keep playing the machine and a few spins later we get the bonus again! This time we hit the Super bonus for $850 and we get a 2x multiplier for a win of just over $1700! Ya baby! We also got free spins and I was pretty excited to see how much more we would get... but in over 20 free spins I think we won about $15 lol I guess the machine figured we won enough with the $1700.

    20170103_232251.jpg 20170103_232659.jpg

    So that was my first ever hand pay over the $1200 threshold in Vegas! About time after about 30 trips haha Out of the $1700+ I got just over $1200 and the casino kept just over $500. Now I have to figure out what needs to be done to get the $500+ they kept. I know there is a way but haven’t looked into it yet. I would appreciate any information from those of you who are from Canada and have done this before!

    Following all this excitement I played a little blackjack at Wynn (lost) before heading over to Palazzo for some food at Grand Lux Cafe. I always eat here at least once a trip and the food was just as good as always.

    We ended up taking a cab from Venetian to Paris and hit the hay.

    January 4, 2017

    This was our last day...our flight was scheduled for 10:30pm. We had no plans for the day, just to wander around having a few drinks and gambling here and there. We decided to eat at Stripburger for lunch and check out Fashion Show mall for a bit before playing at Mirage again. We took our time getting our things together and went down at Paris for some blackjack before officially checking-out. Blackjack netted $60 so not bad, better than a loss. We got everything together and checked out of the room.

    Parked at Mirage with the plan to walk over for lunch. Gf says we should stay and have a couple drinks and play in the casino for a bit before lunch, totally winning my heart haha So I decide to take another stab at the Sphinx machine thinking it’s gotta be nice at some point, fortunately I was right. A couple spins in and I get the Red progressive for $538.37. Awesome! Cash out with a $500 profit and then throw $100 in again but it was in a taking mood after giving me that hit so I moved on. We played a couple of Buffalo machines and a Big Bang Theory machine before finally heading over to Stripburger for lunch.

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    Walked through the mall then made a spot at TI and made a minor donation to their slots before making our way back to Mirage for some blackjack. Ended up winning another few hundred before trying out a few more slots. We decided to go for a walk on the Strip and ended up at Flamingo where I ended out the trip at a $25 pitch BJ table playing $50 on 2 spots. Couldn’t get anything going and left the table with my original $500 buy in. I almost busted out a couple times and might have gotten up to close to $1K once but mostly stayed very close to even for the entire time. I could think of worst ways to spend a couple hours in Vegas so it was all good.

    Back to Mirage to retrieve the rental then off to the airport we went :( Uneventful trip home.

    All in all I spent a total of about $1700 which included hotels, food, drinks, shopping and gambling. Not a win, but definitely could be worse. Definitely a different trip than my last trip but just as awesome in different ways!

    The gf had an absolutely great time and she is already talking about going back! That is a huge win right there! Haha So, I’m hoping to get back to the Holy Land sometime in May but by the end of August the latest. I love Vegas at any time but I do like lounging by the pool so I’m definitely looking forward to a Spring/Summer trip. We will also do more sightseeing at that time as well such as Hoover Dam and maybe Grand Canyon, Red Rock, etc.

    So much for keeping it brief lol
     
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  2. Rush

    Rush MIA

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    Wonderful stuff!
     
  3. Chuck2009x

    Chuck2009x VIP Whale

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    Great report...congrats on the handpay!
     
  4. amk121

    amk121 VIP Whale

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    Great trip report!
     
  5. GamblingGolfer

    GamblingGolfer High-Roller

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    Sounds like a great time! Re reclaiming the 'withholding', I'm sure others will chime in, but there are lots of threads on this ... just do a search here or on the web. Generally, you can do it yourself or have a company organise it for you (and take their cut).

    GG
     
  6. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    Actually there is a long thread here on getting your money back. Good luck.

    Edited to add : https://www.vegasmessageboard.com/forums/index.php?threads/canadians-and-taxes-on-winnings.113238/
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
  7. Camp Rusty

    Camp Rusty VIP Whale

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    Great report......great pictures too.

    Thanks :beer:
     
  8. bshowell

    bshowell VIP Whale

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    This sounded like so much fun. NYE in Vegas is on my "list".
     
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  9. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Sounded like a wonderful time! Glad your g/f really enjoyed herself too!
     
  10. Drewm1972

    Drewm1972 VIP Whale

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    great report. Glad you gus had awesome time!!!
     
  11. bobby jones

    bobby jones VIP Whale

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    What , no new shirt????
     
  12. Richard Alpert

    Richard Alpert LOST

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    This is an incredibly well-done report!
    I saw Maroon 5 a handful of years ago. I love shows like that where the crowd is invested so much in the music.
    Wow, Penn looks so much different than when my bride and I saw him a few years ago.
    Great pics and commentary!
    Bravo :clap:, thank you :wave:, and congratulations :thumbsup:!

    RICHARD
     
  13. boxofbirds

    boxofbirds Royal Flushless

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    Thanks for the report! Sounds like you had a great trip.
     
  14. win4me

    win4me High-Roller

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    Great report & pictures. Loved hearing about the NYE street experience (now I know to avoid :eek:). Thanks for sharing!
     
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  15. kkinwi

    kkinwi VIP Whale

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    Nicely done on the report and hand pay! I love MAG for breakfast and Vegas watching!
     
  16. Ty

    Ty ?

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    Great report, thanks for sharing.
     
  17. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    Great photos and report, thanks. :)
     
  18. hopjuice

    hopjuice Tourist

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    Nice TR, thanks for the read
     
  19. Harry Lyme

    Harry Lyme VIP Whale

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    Great trip report! NYE in Vegas is also on my hit list, but I think I might skip the crowd in the street, though it sounds like an experience, lol.
     
  20. sam_marques

    sam_marques Vegas Vlogs Youtube / TeamClareVlogs

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    Really great TR, enjoyed your last one too. Fantastic that your girlfriend loved Vegas, she's a keeper :thumbsup:
     
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