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Pre-trip planning - 2 days downtown and 3 days strip

Discussion in 'Misc. Vegas Chat' started by jhpa, Jun 26, 2017.

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  1. jhpa

    jhpa VIP Whale

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    OK - so as my countdown clock says, I am heading to Vegas without my wife, without a bunch of golfers. Just me (62) and my son-in-law (35) for five days of concentrated gambling and hanging out. Our goal is to get my son in law from Platinum up to Diamond by the end of the week, so we intend to get Slot and Table badges from all 9 Total Rewards properties, plus more badges for hotel, foods and the show. I wanted to share our plans and get some feedback. Suggestions are welcome - and I have a couple questions that I'd be happy for advice.

    Arriving Monday July 10 from Kansas City on Southwest. Supposed to land at 1 PM and plan to Uber (or Lyft) to the Golden Nugget. We have a room in the Gold Tower (Right choice? I have stayed at the GN once before and had a room in the Carson Tower and it was too far away from the action for me). We bought the VIP package so hopefully check in won't be bad. How strict are they with checkin time - any chance of getting into the room about 2? No real plans for dinner...maybe Triple 7s at the Main Street Station. Any opinions on the place? My plan is craps and a rare session of roulette or VP to break it up. I love downtown because if I hit a cold streak I can head out to Freemont and try another place. I doubt I will even get players cards at most places since most of my gaming will be hit and run, maybe an hour max at a time unless I hit a hot or really fun table.

    Tuesday July 10. Pretty much just wandering the casinos playing craps. We do have a pass for one free breakfast or lunch buffet at the GN. Any opinions on the Nugget Buffet (Of course, it will be free so how bad could it be). We tentatively have a game of slot golf planned which should encourage us to hit at least nine different casinos and be a little competition between us. Late afternoon I plan to hit the pool for an hour or so to rest up and cool off. My last experience was that by 4 or so, a lot of the cabana and day bed people upstairs have left and you can just find one and be a squatter. Still True? Also, is the slide open again at the pool? Again, no plans for dinner. I have eaten at Binion's steakhouse and Hugos in the past and enjoyed them, but not sure whether we will do a fancy dinner or just play it by ear. The only other things I want to do is hit two places in our travels - Atomic Liquors for the nostalgia and Don't Tell Mama's for some singalongs.

    Wednesday July 12. Wednesday is our busy day. Check out of GN about 7:30 and Uber to the Flamingo. Drop our bags about 8:00 (Any chance of getting a check in that early? We have the VIP Access Pass - will that help?) We have an Executive Room reserved (comped) - I would have paid for an upgrade to a suite but did not see any suites with 2 beds. Does anyone know if they have any? Breakfast is at Mon Ami Gabi at Paris- I love sitting on their patio in the morning and watching the world go by. Then we are being picked up for a hour of Gun Shooting at Machine Guns Vegas at 11. Return ride to the Bellagio for royal shaves at 1:45 then back to Flamingo for Check in and cleaning up for dinner. Uber to Rio at 6 for 6:45 dinner at VooDoo Steakhouse (Is 45 minutes that enough time to get from the Flmingo to the Rio VooDoo lounge by Uber?) After dinner I want to stop in the VooDoo Lounge (I understand it opens at 8) just to look around and take in the view. Then at 9PM we have tickets for Penn and Teller. After that, we will do some gambling (finally). Late night we will Uber back to the Flamingo.

    Thursday July 13. After the hectic day wednesday, we will start Thursday with a Cabana. $400 for the cabana plus $100 more minimum of food and drink. Plus gratuity Included in the base price is bottle of champagne that I am told they will swap out for a $100 bottle of something else. Breakfast and lunch at the cabana. I am hoping to do some gambling poolside. What games will they have poolside? Craps? Blackjack? I figure we will be done at the cabana by 3 or so. The rest of the day is gambling. We want to hit all eight of the TR casinos on the strip between 4 and midnight, getting the slot and table badges at all eight. Also playing another round of slot golf along the way. We hope to end up at Planet HO about midnight and do some Karaoke.

    Friday July 14. We are leaving this pretty open. Breakfast might be at Hash House a GoGo. I do want to place some NFL bets and some bets on baseball games. (The damn all-star game is that week so no games monday through thursday - grrr). I also want to catch one of Big Elvis's shows at Harrahs. And if I find my way to the Cosmo I want to try a Verdbena cocktail. Dinner is tentatively planned of the Center Cut steakhouse, but that might change. (Any opinion on Center Cut?) But most of the day will be at the craps table one place or another - probably mid strip. We might venture down to the MGM / NYNY end of the world, although if we don't I won't really care.

    Saturday - Uber to the the airport for a 9 AM flight home

    So there you have our plan. Let me know your thoughts and advice
     
  2. vegasdev

    vegasdev VIP Whale

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    I think the GN buffet is the best downtown, many will disagree with me. but the buffets at MSS and the Fremont are just typical Boyd bland. if you are into coupon trading, you may be able to score a BOGO for the buffet, and that makes it a really good deal.
    2 p.m check-in sounds fair enough.
    the pool scene is nice, but it is sardine city.
    Nacho Daddy is good place to eat downtown, not too expensive, and they also have a strip location now.
    good luck!
     
  3. Richard Alpert

    Richard Alpert LOST

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    Those are some bold questions...:poke: :D

    Have a great trip!

    RICHARD
     
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  4. smerrian

    smerrian View from Bally's

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    Sounds pretty hectic. Have the plans but go with the flow.
    My favorite downtown eatery is Le Thai across the street from El Cortez. The pizza at Pizza Rock across from The DT Grand is also very good for a quick bite. If you want to eat casino food, the 4Qs has the best comp rate downtown and when you use them to pay for your meal you get 40% off. Hugo's Cellar becomes very affordable. At MSS the 777s has good offerings. I really like their Asian seared ahi tuna salad. Not only is it delicious, but after a few days of eating crap it feels good to eat something tasty that's actually good for you.
     
  5. checkchange

    checkchange Low-Roller

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    Concentrated gambling is my kind of trip. I can speak on the GN having stayed there 10 + years: Gold Tower closest to casino...elevator opens and a quick turn and there you are. Carson is a long haul that's why we always stay in Gold.
    VIP check in should be quick I'd say your chances of a room good at 2 pm. I've never had an issue.
    GN buffet good and good, love the dessert choices got salad, soup, shrimp, pizza, fried chicken, carved meats and the list goes on. Can't comment on pool we're always in the casino :beer:
    Let me know about Voodoo Steakhouse as I've always.wanted to go there.
    Good luck and win some money.
     
  6. Breeze147

    Breeze147 Button Man

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    Nugget buffet is okay, but after using your freebies, head over to Main Street Station.

    As far as the pool, wait until later afternoon. Less kids, more shade.
     
  7. Sallymander

    Sallymander Freedom 55

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    I've stayed at the GN several times and IMHO find their breakfast buffet shockingly bad especially since their other restaurants are so good. It was a challenge putting together an edible breakfast...muffins were cheap & heavy with sugar/fat/chemicals, the scrambled eggs weren't real, toast was burnt and cold...blech...ended up with fruit, yoghurt and a few slices of bacon. Life is too short to eat bad food. There are many other nearby places to eat: i.e. the Eat restaurant near the El Cortez (local chef, Google it), the cafe at the California, buffet at MSS, coffee shop at 4Q, etc.
    Try the Happy Hours at the various restaurants at GN...my fave is at the Chart House near the Rush Tower check-in. Prices are reasonable, food quality is good, giant fish tank is awesome and the overall atmosphere is friendly! All of the happy hour menus are on-line at the GN website.
    Enjoy your trip! :peace:
     
  8. DaiLun

    DaiLun R.C., L.C., and A.A.N.G.

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    Addressing the points that I can address:

    Triple Seven is a "safe" place to eat downtown. Nothing particularly good or bad, but I hear that their beer selection is good (I don't drink much alcohol and definitely not beer)

    The GN buffet is the best of the buffets that I've eaten at in the downtown area.

    8AM checkin at Flamingo is not likely unless you get "very" lucky or $20 trick. It's summertime, and there may not be any rooms of your type available at that time of the morning. VIP Access pass does very little with regard to that. You may need to check you bags and "mill around". I would recommend staying at GN until the latest checkout and them move.

    I would pass on Hash House a Go Go unless you want to eat MQ (Mass Quantities).

    IMHO, VooDoo Steakhouse isn't really worth it. It's a fine restaurant, but I was comped there for a $300 meal with no alcohol, and da**ed if I would have paid out of pocket for that. The view is nice, it you're into that kind of thing, but I would rather have a meal at Center Cut Steakhouse at Flamingo and ride the High Roller.

    Center Cut is a nice steakhouse to eat at. I eat there every time I can. (Ask for "Korean Jenny", she's "the bomb") it's moderately priced, but a good selection.

    Have fun!!!
     
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  9. jcombs

    jcombs Low-Roller

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    Flamingo has poolside BJ, Craps, and I believe Roulette. I've only played craps and BJ.

    Skip Center Cut, and take a stroll to BLT Steak at Bally's. There's a travelzoo deal for half-off, and even at full price, the quality is better at BLT.
     
  10. jhpa

    jhpa VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the tips

    It might sound overly scripted, but only wednesday is really locked in.(unless you consider us locked in to the cabana thursday). Everything else is pretty flexible with a bunch of things we would like to do but no must dos.
     
  11. jhpa

    jhpa VIP Whale

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    Looks like 3 to 1 in favor of the GN buffet. In all honesty, I am not a big buffet fan. I would rather be served. But our package comes with buffet breakfast or lunch fir two, so what the heck.... .
     
  12. jhpa

    jhpa VIP Whale

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    Poolside craps sounds groovy! Hopefully it is in the shade.
     
  13. jhpa

    jhpa VIP Whale

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    Sounds like 777 might be a winner. A pretty large and diverse menu and lot's of beer choices. Nice first dinner in Vegas.
     
  14. jhpa

    jhpa VIP Whale

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    We are committed to the show at Rio so we will most likely eat at the Rio . If we don't do VooDoo what do we do? Any other good dinner spots at the Rio?
     
  15. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    Answering the ones I know.

    777 brewpub is good if you like craft beers. If you get there before 6 and enjoy pub fare their happy hour menu is a great deal.

    Early check-in at Flamingo won't be easy. Leave bags at bell desk.

    45 minutes is enough time to WALK to Rio from Flamingo, so, yeah, I'd say that's enough time for an uber ride.
     
  16. drdestructo

    drdestructo Low-Roller

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    As others mentioned, Gold Tower at GN is terrific for its proximity to the casino. Most of my trips at the GN are comped, so we use VIP check-in exclusively. Your chances of a room at 2pm are very good. I've been able to check-in as early as 10:30am there with a room available.

    Enjoy your time! You have a lot planned, but be prepared to wing it if necessary.
     
  17. smerrian

    smerrian View from Bally's

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    I think all of the food options at the Rio are crappy. Never had a meal I enjoyed there. Next door at the Gold Coast there are 2 really good Chinese restaurants (Ping, Pang, Pong & The Noodle House) and they have very reasonable prices...which you won't find at Rio.
     
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  18. topcard

    topcard Celebrating 40 Years of Vegas Trips in 2020!

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    ...not sure if this is still true, but the front desk at Rio used to give away passes to VooDoo to anyone with a player's card. (Beats paying their cover charge!). PS - why not try their zip-line while you're there?

    As for downtown - I would use the GN buffet comps at lunch, and instead eat breakfast at Magnolia's (4-Queens) or at the Cafe behind the buffet at Fremont. Table service + eggs-to-order, reasonably priced & good food.

    Early check-in on weekdays is actually very available... Sundays can be tough, but Mon-Thu? Easy.... not "8 AM" easy, but 10 or 11? Sure.

    Be aware about the Gold Tower vs Carson: Carson is the only tower where smoking rooms are still available. So, if that's a factor, you might save some money and switch to Carson....but, yeah - it is indeed a long walk from the room to the casino.

    Good luck & hjave fun!
    :beer:
     
  19. jhpa

    jhpa VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the advice

    Assuming we stick to dinner at Voodoo Steakhouse, they will give us two passes ro the lounge. If not, we will check the desk

    Lunch with our GN passes might be the better option. I am usually fine with a starbucks for breakfast anyway.

    Nether of us are smokers so that is not an issue.
     
  20. Breeze147

    Breeze147 Button Man

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    Magnolia's is always a stop for me for NY Strip and eggs.
     
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