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Recap: One-Night Trip to Windsor, ON @ Caesars Windsor

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Trip Reports' started by notfromconcentrate, Sep 29, 2021.

  1. notfromconcentrate

    notfromconcentrate Connoisseur of dive casinos and obnoxious outfits

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    My Trip Report

    Hey everyone… long time since I’ve done one of these! Unfortunately not a live trip report for reasons you’ll see below. Nor is it especially exciting outside of a bit of gaming action and some insights about Caesar’s Windsor… one of the CET properties that (understandably) doesn’t get talked about much. Spoiler, it’s a VERY good property. Despite not being able to experience much of it between time constraints and certain things not being open right now, I’d venture to say it’s my favourite Canadian casino I’ve been to so far.

    I’m currently sitting on the VIA train back to Toronto, which has been stalled for at least an hour now due to technical difficulties. We’re just past London, ON, and I have no idea what the heck will happen if this delay goes longer fingers crossed, and thought I’d take advantage of this time to write this up while the thoughts are fresh in my head.

    Current mood… (and me testing out publishing photos via browser as opposed to TapATalk to make sure I’m doing it right)

    5D08963B-A477-4A6A-ACCE-3DE33CFEC12A.jpeg

    I’ll be breaking this recap down into a few separate posts for easier reading/reacting/quoting as needed. Ask away with the questions… and if Sonya is ok with keeping this report “open” for a couple of weeks, I may be coming down again soon for more viewings and can add any new insights/anecdotes at that time.
     
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  2. notfromconcentrate

    notfromconcentrate Connoisseur of dive casinos and obnoxious outfits

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    Context

    So, why Windsor and why now? I’ve been seriously considering relocating to Windsor for a year and a bit now on account of more affordable housing, a more relaxed overall pace of living, and proximity to the US border to be able to enjoy certain US-specific amenities (such as Spirit/Frontier/Southwest flights from DTW). I’ve lived in Toronto for about 28 of my nearly 29 years and I’ve really just grown tired of it… I’ve extensively explored surrounding areas of the city, but very few appeal to me, especially as a non-driver. The whole search has been “passive” (and by “passive” I mean exploring listings on Realtor dot ca just about every day) for about a year now… though that changed a few weeks ago when I found the place of my dreams and placed a sight-unseen offer on it, which sadly couldn’t compete with the top offer that ultimately won. Luckily, the agent I got matched with to help me with that has been great about looking for other places with me… and last week we got to the point that it was time to view a few listings. Booked a Tuesday morning train ticket on VIA to head down to Windsor, and the plan was to view them in the afternoon, and I’d stay over that night at Caesars with the possibility of viewing more listings the next day if we couldn’t get confirmations for Tuesday, and come back on Wednesday evening.

    The search is far from over… for everything Windsor has in terms of accessible options, there are a number of trade-offs to include high property taxes, limited areas that are walkable, and a high rate of bidding wars from Torontonians such as myself doing the exact same thing I’m doing. So we’ll see if this ever happens. I figure that between $100ish for the train tickets, $100ish for my one night at Caesars, and about two days of my life it can’t hurt to attempt, especially if it can effectively be a mini vacation that doesn’t involve COVID tests for leaving and re-entering the country.

    Not much to report about the trip down. I’ll cover this off before the hotel, the gaming, miscellaneous anecdotes, and perhaps most importantly… the experience that threw a wrench in yesterday afternoon/evening that taught me a VERY valuable lesson I’m sure will get a sassy “mmmmmhmmmmm” from the older and wiser members of this board :) Hint: It involves printing things out.

    The photo below is surprisingly the only still image I managed to get on the trip down. It was my best attempt at getting the river in Paris, ON which is a real “money shot” from the train. The train trip is about four hours in total… and I have to say that the experience overall is much more relaxing and friendly to the traveller than flying. I’ll definitely be doing more of this notwithstanding a possible move to Windsor. Especially in Western Canada… I’ll be giving @Gaggles a call!

    227205F8-AF62-4992-858B-C81E4798D57D.jpeg

    There were two remarkably beautiful towns on the way down with marina communities… Belle Harbour and Tilbury. Looked up properties in both places and saw this listing in the former… which is for TWO tiny cottages on the same plot of land! I ran the idea by a few friends and they absolutely loved the idea of going halfsies on something like this. Too bad that these areas aren’t realistic for non-drivers at all, and none of the friends in question drive either :( lol

    0E23E0B3-49C8-4B46-8830-B623ED834DF1.png

    Now onto the hotel…
     
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  3. notfromconcentrate

    notfromconcentrate Connoisseur of dive casinos and obnoxious outfits

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    Hotel

    If there’s anything that’s widely known about Caesars Windsor, it’s that it is a HUGE property. I know MCann has the numbers down pat in terms of where the CET properties rank amongst one another with respect to size. But this wasn’t like your average CET strip resort in Las Vegas by any means. I ended up getting to the hotel around 4:00 pm and checked in without issue… had a basic room in the Augustus tower booked, came to $98 CAD plus tax and no resort fee as I currently hold Diamond status. There don’t seem to be very many different room categories there… and when I asked about paying for an upgrade, the agent looked at me like she didn’t to know what I meant. Oh well.

    The main reason for this will come up when I share “what happened”, at the conclusion of this report… but every single staff member at Caesars Windsor was exceptionally friendly and helpful. I suspect it could be due to the fact that it’s not exactly a “tourist” resort like the Las Vegas properties are, and treating guests well for the sake of fostering loyalty is more important. Come to think of it I’ve observed a comparable warmth of the staff members at Harrah’s Laughlin, perhaps for that same reason. No kiosks either, which was a plus in my eyes.

    Getting to the elevators requires both showing your key to a guard and to insert your key into a slot in the elevator. Definitely made things feel more secure.

    I’ll do a photo dump below, and hopefully this will all make sense based on what I write here. I can summarize my reaction to the room by saying I couldn’t have asked for more. Indeed it was “basic” with respect to features and fixtures. Though there was no evidence of cost-cutting or cut corners that would commonly be seen in many other properties in 2021. There was a coffee machine with all the fixings, a fridge, an ice bucket, and a standard array of travel-size toiletries (the dispensers are perhaps my biggest peeve in travel!). The room was also of ample size, in good repair, and the quality of everything just felt so solid between the bedding, the towels, and the carpet. I also loved that the closet had “proper” hangers as opposed to the anti-theft ones usually found in hotels.

    The overall decor was very similar to Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, which is unsurprising. There were two slight oddities in the overall experience…

    1. Couldn’t connect to the wifi at all. It wasn’t the standard Caesars wifi with browser authentication… the network name was ATT, and you had to enter a password written on your key folio. My iPhone couldn’t connect after several attempts. I never bothered to rectify it as my data worked just fine and it was only one night. But I can’t remember the last time the wifi just straight-up didn’t work in a hotel. In fairness, it absolutely could have been my problem and not theirs. Though this is a first with this phone. Either way, we’ll never know. I’ll attempt it more diligently on my next stay.

    2. Like with room upgrades, late checkouts seemed to be a foreign concept as well. I made it clear when I called down this morning that I’d be happy to pay for a 1 pm or 2 pm checkout depending on what it costs… but they insisted I be out at noon or 12:30 pm at the latest. It seems strange since I’d think they’d want the easy revenue, but also in fairness they may only have one shift of housekeeping and can’t scatter check-out items for that reason. Either way it worked out just fine.

    The mattress was VERY comfy. I sleep on an Endy (foam) mattress at home, so it felt weird to be on a bed with springs. Part of me wants to ask them what kind of mattress it is… but I’ve faced difficulty with getting that information on the past. Might attempt that too on a subsequent stay if it really stood out that much.

    I was on the 20th floor with a west-facing view. I’ve gotta say, this river looks even better in person than it does in photos!

    E62C28C7-D97D-4D66-BCB2-04B6534B1542.jpeg 4D07DA8C-1F74-4028-A9E5-48A42C3762E6.jpeg 7100EE87-D20F-4D74-A37A-6F4CAB064C24.jpeg 18302D7F-8C18-40AA-8C3C-F36F98089379.jpeg E1E73EA5-5DD3-49EB-A13C-AAF6AA06D278.jpeg BF6F8D47-F57B-42B6-BAF4-B21C0FFD59D7.jpeg 81402E67-8239-4EEB-82B8-53177C4E6F21.jpeg 8C3B64E2-0027-41B8-9121-FDB7621C5BFD.jpeg 12555E4D-65ED-4B47-BC00-04941CEEBE38.jpeg
     

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  4. Allee

    Allee Low-Roller

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    Oh how I miss Windsor! Thanks for sharing.
     
    Attempting to manifest a December trip!
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  5. notfromconcentrate

    notfromconcentrate Connoisseur of dive casinos and obnoxious outfits

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    (Will resume this tomorrow… train finally moving which is good, but I’m dead tired and photo upload is wonky on data, better to do on wifi)
     
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  6. pressitagain

    pressitagain VIP Whale

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    Nobody actually moves TO Windsor….LOL
     
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  7. 3544quebec

    3544quebec High-Roller

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    Love Caesars Windsor and that view down to the Ambassador Bridge but the self portrait in your opening post makes me think that the train conductor comes down the aisle to inspect tickets with a machete in his hands :eek: . I've contemplated catching the train from Toronto but don't think I'd dare now.
     
  8. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    Wow; were you stalled for 3 hours?
     
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    Christmas at Cosmo
  9. Johnzimbo

    Johnzimbo VIP Whale

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    If they do not understand late checkout....I wonder how they feel about gambling in your robe :)
     
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  10. notfromconcentrate

    notfromconcentrate Connoisseur of dive casinos and obnoxious outfits

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    Gaming (Part 1/2: Overview of offerings)

    Caesars Windsor is a pretty “full featured” casino with a good range of slots (heavy on video vs reel slots, as is common in Ontario) and tables (more on this in a second). Video poker was a bit limited, but that’s common in Ontario too. Other casinos here such as Woodbine and Fallsview tend to have dedicated “Video Poker” sections, as opposed to the machines being scattered across the floor. No live keno or bingo offered. Don’t think the poker room was open either. The casino is spread out across two floors (two “flights” of escalators between levels, in case that matters for those with mobility limitations), and while there aren’t any barriers to the hotel besides a room key, to enter the casino you must show proof of COVID vaccination. Let’s not get into a discussion about that please, since as we all know it can become controversial. But in order to go from the hotel lobby to the casino area, you must show your ID and proof of vaccination and they will issue you a re-entry wristband to give you in and out privileges for the day. Also need to fill out a contact tracing card in case of an outbreak. All restaurants but one (Spago Trattoria) are on the casino floor, and to access them you must also go through the vaccination verification checkpoint… likewise for the gift shop (this plays a key role in the “moral of the story” to come at the end… I know you’re dying to hear what that is now!). Masks are still required on the casino floor (compliance was perfect), tables had plexiglass barriers on them and each spot had to be manually disinfected between players joining and leaving. Whenever you sit down the dealer will ask for your hands to put sanitizer on them. Machines were also distanced with the “in between” games put out of service.

    So I’ll start this out with an overview of what’s on tap there. Bit of a mixed bag, probably best to articulate it point by point…

    - Table minimums were very reasonable, with great blackjack rules, and shockingly high posted maximums on some games. The craps table has a $15 minimum, with $50,000 (yes, FIFTY thousand) maximum… which I’m guessing applies to odds as I cannot imagine a casino allowing $50k pass plus odds :eek: (though please correct me if I’m wrong). Blackjack tables on the main floor (regular and free bet) were mostly $15 to $500 paying 3:2 odds (only saw one $25 min). There was one table each of “double up” blackjack and Spanish 21 (rarely see that anymore). Carny games were all $10 minimum, except UTH which was $15. Mini baccarat was $15 too if I recall correctly. High limit tables also had pretty low minimums… $50 for blackjack (also 3:2 and amazingly had S17) and $50 for single zero roulette. All non-HL tables are in the middle of the lower casino floor… and the pits are a bit confusingly laid out, so I got lost quite a bit while roaming the floor. I think that when you consider the USD to CAD exchange rate ($1 CAD is $0.80 USD), the “discount” compared to playing in the US can be a good reason to play on this side of the border with these minimums (trade-offs being that you have to pay for alcohol and can’t smoke indoors). While there was at least one “real” craps table, they also had one of those “roll to win” tables going too… but nobody was playing. Can’t say I blame them, I cannot think of a more unappealing gaming experience myself. There were “stadium” style tables too right by the video poker.

    - Slots on the main floor were mostly video slots as mentioned. The selection kind of reminded me of what was at Eastside Cannery (though I know that’s probably an obscure reference). Very few reels… and the reels that were there were largely “knockoff” versions of popular reel games such as Top Dollar and WOF. High limit was mostly older reel slots, I’m sure many of the machines are older than I am. As low as $1 three credit, lots of $5 games, some $10 and $20 and exactly one $100 single credit three reel game.

    - Video poker was mostly limited to one section near the high limit tables. Best game by far was 9/5 DDB with quad and royal progressives all at $1 denom. Starting at $0.25 you could get 9/5 DDB (no prog), and 8/5 JoB. Bonus poker was only 6/5. Mostly single line… small handful of three-play. Think I saw one or two Ultimate X and Super Times Pay machines. There were two bars (one on each floor) that offered video poker (same paytables), though you have to pay for drinks here (didn’t check if soft drinks are free when served by the bartender though I’m sure they are). Unfortunately the paytables didn’t get any better in high limit (even all the way up to $25 credits)… and they were those weird green machines, as opposed to Game King or All Star machines.

    As is often the case in casinos that don’t serve comp alcohol, there was a “beverages” station where you could get soft-serve fountain drinks (soda, water, OJ) as well as coffee and tea. Servers did come around with water on their trays, and to take orders for paid alcohol. Wasn’t terribly expensive… a “large” Bud draft was $7… and when I paid for a bottled Stella at the bar it was $6.50 (just feels so weird to actually pay for a drink! Lol). Alcohol service also stops at midnight… last call is normally 2 am here, but that’s a local ordinance here post reopening.

    Tables also closed at 1:30 am on Tuesday, they don’t deal 24 hours right now. I was playing free bet blackjack at the time and the pit boss came around declaring “last three hands” which was rather abrupt.

    Overall, I’d say it was a very pleasant casino experience. Wouldn’t be opposed to going back… though it’s noticeably “not Vegas” if that makes any sense.

    Random sidebar… I actually really liked the carpet they had on the lower gaming floor. I know casino carpets are deliberately designed to be ugly… but I gotta say I didn’t feel that way about this one! Should be the seventh photo below.

    Photo dump below…

    1AF04427-FE6B-4AE6-83EB-52D0FEF3B5FA.jpeg 07B5A0CA-7496-4ABA-AD38-373CE46F79B9.jpeg D9C9FF24-9DAE-4CE5-A27C-33ED2EEA84E5.jpeg 6A6F16BA-914D-4AC7-B832-C25C60D10D24.jpeg 3760CAC5-7B1B-4E92-B1A4-BEB5A65E7FD2.jpeg 608FAC57-2C9F-45E1-A9D7-87E96BB98195.jpeg B1A37902-4A7E-405E-B8E7-B7392EF204D9.jpeg 697029DE-2CB8-42C3-A16D-D2DBBDF84136.jpeg EB803202-259F-45CA-AA5F-845CAACA72F5.jpeg 08A5E02E-A6AB-47A7-8980-19D42FEAFD64.jpeg D9FF549C-D149-4C80-8C6B-F04A23FA5F4A.jpeg FA00ECE1-03CC-459E-AB47-76703AFE3579.jpeg
     

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  11. notfromconcentrate

    notfromconcentrate Connoisseur of dive casinos and obnoxious outfits

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    Gaming (Part 2/2: How it Went)

    Okay, here’s what everyone wants the most… lol. Came down with a $500 bankroll, and came away with $800 and some souvenir chips. There should have been a “1” in front of that eight, though you’ll see why that didn’t happen :)

    Mostly played video poker, did a decent amount of blackjack, and a small amount of mostly high limit slots. I’m afraid I don’t have the energy to combine anecdotes and pictures this morning, so I’ll provide an approximate sequence of the “action” below, and hopefully the photos will correspond to it all in the dump at the end of this post.

    - Started playing 8/5 JoB at $0.25 and hopped around $0.50/$1 denom. Nothing crazy, held my own for a bit and hit my first quad at $0.25.

    - Went to blackjack… all of my play was free bet. Bought in for $100 and had a very “typical” session in which I got up around the beginning, pocketed my $100 buy in, and continued to play on house money. Did ok, until I started betting big. Got ballsy and made a $140 bet which of course lost. Cashed out even and went back to video poker. Nothing eventful there.

    - Returned to blackjack once again, this time didn’t quite do as well and got $300 deep. Luckily won it all back and played a bit more on house money. Of course lost that and returned to video poker.

    - Switched to DDB at $0.50 and hit a quad. Then $1 and got another which had me over $400 up in total. Took that to Buffalo (forgot to mention earlier there was only ONE Buffalo Grand machine in the whole casino) and lost $200 playing $3.60 max bet. Ah well.

    - Then blackjack one more time… I bought in for $100 and cashed out $400. This is when the tables closed. This was an intense session, I got up pretty good (pocketed buy-in) and had a stack of green chips, booked several $100+ bets and even a couple of $200+ bets, probably won and lost the same amount of them. My last bet was “all-in” with my $150 profit and I won that, which got me to an even $500 ahead.

    - Now here’s where it goes sharply up and then down. Sat at the $1 DDB progressive bank and in no time hit four aces with no kicker for $800 and change. Cashed out promptly, and went to play a “triple sevens” IGT game on high limit. That was a volatile one even playing $5 single credit (only a marginal difference for the top prize), definitely lost there. I played some other high limit slots and am shocked I didn’t get photos or videos of much of it :( I recall leaving the HL room with $900 left in my “profit” bankroll with my original $500 on the inside of my money clip.

    - Aaaand it all goes downhill from here. All at the $1 DDB progressive bank, did hit some quads along the way. Between 3:00 am and 4:45 am I did at least $10k coin-in and “only” lost $600 from my profit. Promised myself I wouldn’t drop below $300 in profit, and I’m shocked I actually stuck to it! Lol.

    It probably helps too that I was dead tired at that point. I got up at 3:30 am that morning to catch the early train to Windsor, so I was up for well over 24 hours at this point. Knowing it would be “that kind of night” I already had my pyjamas and everything laid out upstairs and promptly got to bed and passed right out. Woke a little after 10 am, which wasn’t very much sleep considering the day I had before, nor would it be much sleep for the day I’d later end up having with the train delay! I’m writing this in bed at home now having gotten a solid eight hours between about 3:00 am and 11:00 am and I’m still tired… hahaha.

    What’s even crazier is that I go to bed around 8 pm or 9 pm these days to get up at 4:00 am (long story, it’s a time control strategy), so these irregularities were all the more magnified. Needless to say, today is a write-off, and tomorrow will likely be as well. Though luckily I’ll have the weekend to get back on track for next week.

    I’ll cap this off by saying that I spoke to a host in the early afternoon about possibly getting my room comped off. According to them I was nowhere even close! I respect that video poker and table play is not generally favoured for comping purposes. I’m sure it doesn’t help either that I won. It was just a little surprising that I did over 1,500 tier credits in total, had an average blackjack bet of at least $50* with several $100+ bets, and somewhere in the thousands of dollars of coin in on slots (albeit not much time on device to be fair) and I “wasn’t even close” to getting a $98 room comped. No complaints, though I will say I’m not inclined to play nearly as much on future stays knowing that level of play would have no chance of getting a comp.

    * Forgot to mention earlier, at the $15 blackjack tables you can play two boxes for $25 each as opposed to having to fully double your bet.

    Also played blackjack for about 45 minutes around this time yesterday. Once again $100 in, pocketed the stake after winning early, ran that up to at least $400… and, well, you know…… :)

    Photo dump below… try not to cringe too hard at the array of $100 bills, which I photographed to send to @ffejry . It was a pretty sight while it lasted!


    A4997714-B7A6-4294-8F02-E7DEA73CEED6.png 27FB344C-2ACC-452A-A0DF-ACFE1207EDEB.png BD1A5AA5-10B7-4222-B35F-FE5914FF9B7A.png 3F8025C8-D17B-4BE5-9485-A63884958620.png 971FAA31-56B7-4EE3-81DF-16CB965CEA7E.png AC5B4065-5D92-43E5-9CBE-8FDDE87CC2BA.png 10F21F5F-F6D4-4027-8CDB-D3BDCAA29442.png 3AAB4AC3-7451-4DF6-9D64-69903990FFBE.png B17F2F64-1A06-4CA1-9C71-A0808166E090.png 8404A045-3552-4272-8BBB-968EE5010ACB.png E71965E7-B184-4724-A8F7-E6F487F94D8B.png 02A993B5-9CB8-48EC-B589-64D24596D137.png A8B510FC-1C54-4803-8B3C-B5E560692127.png 5AAF8DB4-E1EB-4562-962E-EC38260B5D05.png A5B485DC-C695-4F39-8B81-AE5F02D87432.png 1A0ED354-2A75-46FB-8372-14306D1DDE72.png 6200494C-0076-401A-8EE1-4B80EDDE2356.png 452DA4EA-21C7-462C-9A3B-6719342AB60B.png C6F9F021-8362-4CEA-AA70-5D125FEE1FAB.png 962FFE3D-1845-469A-A1C9-71B97D39A2DA.png
     

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  12. notfromconcentrate

    notfromconcentrate Connoisseur of dive casinos and obnoxious outfits

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    Hahaha… you’d be surprised :) lots of GTA expats moving out there. It’s becoming a trend for properties to list artificially low here with $100k or even $200k over asking being common. It has me second-guessing buying anything as I’m up against buyers who are much better financed than I am, but the actions are certainly speaking for themselves here. Needless to say it’s not Yorkville. Though I have to say the Riverside neighbourhood is quite nice… the style of the homes and green space around there reminds me a lot of coastal Massachusetts to be honest.

    Don’t let it fool you :) the attendant, Bruneau, could not have been nicer or more professional in his approach to handling the unfortunate situation. I haven’t taken VIA since 2013, but I can assure you this is an outlier of a situation. I wouldn’t hesitate to take VIA again at all. It’s very cost effective, comfortable, and a much more pleasant overall experience compared to flying in my opinion.

    Yup! Worst part is, they knew about mechanical problems in Windsor which delayed the original departure. The screenshot below is where we were stuck. One passenger (bound for Toronto) had someone just pick them up at the next stop in case it happened again. The passenger next to me was handicapped and had to coordinate accommodations since we weee arriving at Union after-hours. Luckily for me I’ll get a $30ish credit towards my next VIA trip as a courtesy. But truthfully if I could have just gotten off and stayed over in London, I would have. I did see a taxi pull up beside the train (no roads or anything!) which suggests to me that someone may have ordered a taxi out there perhaps for that very purpose :eek:

    7786C747-3173-4625-870B-4BB3D0BEEF41.jpeg

    Damn it! I literally have three bathrobes at home and should have brought one with me to try it… lol.

    ——

    Gotta get onto work for today guys. Hopefully I’ll be able to wrap this up tonight or tomorrow. Thanks for reading so far!
     
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  13. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    Thanks for the report; I haven’t been to Caesars Windsor since it re-opened. Nice to see a boots on the ground report.
    Are most of the restaurants open now too?
     
    Christmas at Cosmo
  14. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    I could have rescued you; I’m about a 20 minute drive from where you were stranded.
     
    Christmas at Cosmo
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  15. pressitagain

    pressitagain VIP Whale

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    I’m just messing with you. I met a small home builder earlier this year (Belle River). He informed me of the madness. He drives from Oakville to Windsor daily for this stuff. FYI. It was like this in the early 90s down there…..it fizzled for close to 30 years. Back then the popular area was Tecumseh. Think it through…
     
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  16. gr8whitenorth

    gr8whitenorth VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the TR. Even though I am only a few hours away I've never visited. We are opening a franchise location in Windsor and Sarnia and 2022 so I think I'll stay for the night when I am in town. The casino floor definitely looks quiet, but given that you said you were on the floor VERY late I am not surprised. Last call at midnight must be a local ordinance and Fallsview had a 2am last call when we were there in August.
     
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  17. notfromconcentrate

    notfromconcentrate Connoisseur of dive casinos and obnoxious outfits

    Joined:
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    The Rest of It

    Okay, let's round this off.

    So, everything took a turn mid-afternoon on Tuesday when my phone battery died unexpectedly. Which was irritating, but I figured it wasn't a big deal as I'd simply plug in my battery pack and bring it back to life. Didn't happen. Initially I thought it was the battery pack, being an $15-ish store brand one I got from Best Buy years ago. But after I plugged in my phone for a few minutes in the wall socket at one of the places I was viewing (according to my agent that's very normal, lol) and it STILL didn't take, I began to worry. Being a millennial who is constantly on his phone, my phone is almost never actually off or out of battery... so considering this phone is a couple of years old, I thought it to be fully possible that the battery just went kaput after being completely drained. Maybe it could be the cord... but how often do you hear about defective cords (especially OEM ones from Apple) compared to defective (old) phones?? So I began to accept the reality that I might just have to buy a brand new phone. Because never mind the fact that I'd need it to get around the rest of Tuesday and all of Wednesday... I also had an urgent writeup that was absolutely needed that night AND there were edits needed to another writeup that the client was bugging me for. Time was not on my side, and I had absolutely no idea where I'd be able to buy a new iPhone anywhere near Caesars Windsor at 4:00 pm, so I had to think fast.

    When I checked into Caesars, I briefly explained my situation to the concierge and asked if there's anywhere around there I can buy an iPhone OR an iPhone charging cord. I wanted to at least attempt the latter for ten-ish dollars as opposed to the former for a thousand-ish dollars, since I had no reason to believe anything was even remotely off about my phone. They told me I could buy the cord at the resort's gift shop, but the nearest electronics store would be the Best Buy about a 20 minute drive away from the casino. For which I would of course need to hire a taxi. Oh geez. So I told them I'd go and check into my room first and attempt charging it with my phone one last time, and in the meantime they allowed me to make a phone call to the ONE person whose phone number I was able to pull from my Apple Watch*, and even offered to print off the directions to the Best Buy in case I needed to go that way. Unbelievably kind hospitality, but it gets even better than that.

    * Of course, he didn't get the voicemail until late that night... and was laughing his ass off at how this type of thing only seems to happen to me, lol

    Anyway, charging my phone in the room was a bust... and I came downstairs. It was about 4:45 pm at this point, so I figured I'd be dealing with whatever the Windsor version of rush-hour traffic is whether I go there now or 20 minutes later and opted to buy a cord at the casino, and if that doesn't work it's off to Best Buy I go. The concierge gave me directions from the front desk to the gift shop, which all sounded pretty straightforward until this dreaded sentence came up... "Oh, and of course, you'll have to show your vaccination proof at the checkpoint right there to get to the casino floor where the gift shop is".

    Guess where my vaccine card was... on my phone!!! Oh no...

    So now I was thinking I basically had to go to Best Buy because I was literally not even allowed to access the gift shop on the casino floor without proof of vaccination. Without my even asking or alluding to the idea, the concierge actually offered to go to the gift shop FOR ME and bill the charger cord to my hotel folio. At this point, I'm literally more preoccupied with how I could possibly express my gratitude to her than I am with getting my phone to work. I graciously accepted her offer, but with the suggestion that perhaps someone on staff might have an iPhone charger I can borrow for a few minutes so that she need not go to that trouble. One was indeed located, and I plugged in my phone for a very suspenseful few minutes until the Apple logo showed up. It was the cord after all!

    For the next several minutes I remained awkwardly hunched over the front desk ("current mood" selfie below) both answering messages and waiting for my phone to get to a decent charge before making my way to the gift shop. To further exemplify the level of hospitality, one of the supervisors insisted that I sit down on one of the couches and plug in there to be more comfortable (I wasn't obstructing any of the agent desks, as I was off to the side). Which I appreciated... but I also didn't want to be out of the concierge's sight out of respect for the fact that I was using the personal property of another staff member and didn't want to look like I was about to make off with it, nor did I want to give the impression that I was taking my time with using it.

    0255E728-4054-472A-B544-11DE4720096C.jpeg

    Got it up to 20ish percent, showed my proof of vaccination to the checkpoint agent, grabbed the charger in the gift shop, and hightailed it back to my room to get to work. There were actually some pretty cool things in the gift shop... most of you know how I have a thing for flamingoes, something my friend K (an ex-girlfriend but we're super cool with each other) shares as well and I often buy flamingo-related things for her. Didn't have much time to poke around in there though, but managed to snap photos of a couple of items that caught my eye.

    2B27CA53-8B2D-4639-8C66-AC9A0C3D5BA8.jpeg

    The next 3.5 hours were brutal with both these writeups and these edits, which I was able to do on my phone with the Bluetooth keyboard I brought. Luckily I don't use much data at home, as I was completely reliant on cellular data with the wifi being unable to connect. I was able to negotiate with my client a rather rare "day off" on Wednesday based on this last-minute craziness. So as soon as everything was approved and sent off, that would be it until Thursday. I headed downstairs around 9:40 pm, and the only place open in the entire resort for food was Johnny Rockets, which was only doing take-out as they close at 10 pm. Totally fair... a bit pricey (came to $34 CAD with tip), but it absolutely hit the spot. Did a salad, a burger, and an Oreo shake. The "Cosmos" DJ area was vacant, which is where I chowed down on it before hitting the gaming floor.

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    Sadly, no other "food porn" from that trip... though I can share some from brunch this afternoon at "Viaggio" in Toronto's Parkdale neighbourhood to compensate for the lack of it

    If I would have done anything differently for this trip, I'd have gone to Caesars Windsor on a Wednesday or Thursday, as many (if not most) of the food outlets aren't open on Mon/Tue. I wanted to try Nero's steakhouse on the recommendation of another VMB member... but I guess that'll have to wait until next time.


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    The whipped cream “skated” off the top of the tiramisu pancakes… lol

    Also, yes, I did try to tip the concierge for her help... and she actually wasn't allowed to accept! There was a bellman who was helping us out a bit, so I gave it to him instead. Made sure to note both of their names as well and gave them a nice and detailed positive review in the survey I got by email after my stay.

    Bottom-line lesson learned... CARRY A HARD COPY OF YOUR VACCINE PROOF! I've seen several VMB members mention how they print out their boarding passes and such for this exact reason, something my generation seems to think is unimportant, until it happens to them. Sure won't be making that mistake again...

    So that concludes this report! As mentioned, there's a possibility I'll go back depending on how the rest of this search goes. Probably won't do a full-scale report on it, but we'll see.

    I'll cap this off with a photo of the chips being added to my collection. Always good to have yet another casino in there. Thanks for following along guys!

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    Last edited: Oct 4, 2021
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  18. motownbob

    motownbob Low-Roller

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    Wow, what a great report, very detailed! The wife and I have very fond memories of our trips to Caesars Windsor. We could get there from our northern Detroit suburban home in less than an hour. When you needed a break from the gambling , weather permitting , you could always take a pleasant walk along the Detroit river waterfront. Saw lots of great concerts there, including your countrymen Gordon Lightfoot and Burton Cummings . Don't know if we will be back , several Native American casinos here in Michigan which have hooked us !
     
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  19. bobby jones

    bobby jones VIP Whale

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    Nice recap. We try to get Down every year or two. The train is a nice break for me as usually am the chauffeur. We catch it at Aldershot station. Nice mini diversion from the usual Niagara.

    A good friend of mine bought in Belle River about 3-4 years ago . Nice place he got for a song. It’s probably tripled in value . He also rents a place in dt Toronto as that is where he is based for work. With covid, those trips have become less and less.

    as an FYI Niagara prices also out of control. There are still some decent places but either less desirable areas or futzed out. Friends just got a place Crystal Beach but not cheap . Drove by a 40 year + bungalow on Lake Erie. Great view but 1.2!
     
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  20. clr

    clr Low-Roller

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    Great storytelling skills you have been gone too long! Please travel more