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Solo trip June 29 - July 3 - Hotel Apache & NYNY

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Earthman, Jun 28, 2020.

  1. Earthman

    Earthman Tourist

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    My Trip Report

    I’ll be going to Las Vegas on my first solo trip in about 10 years, since my SO has other plans this time. I’ll be arriving on Monday morning, staying at the Hotel Apache for the first time for two nights using a $100 credit from the Binion’s app. (I would have rather used that at their steakhouse - I have been wanting to try their chicken fried lobster - but it doesn’t look like the steakhouse will be open.) I am planning to do most of my downtown gambling at the Four Queens, but I also intend to stop in at the D to collect some match play chips with my Southwest boarding pass. I will also try to get to El Cortez for some free play from the boarding pass. In addition, I plan to stop in at the Golden Gate, because I liked the bar and the service when I was there last year, and because I would like to get on their radar for a possible future Circa offer. I’ve heard that they recently switched to a drink voucher system there, so I expect to have a report on that.

    On Wednesday, I’ll be moving to NYNY for two comped nights. I was a little surprised that the room was comped; I stayed there last year for the first time (which was also the first time that I had stayed at a MGM property in about ten years), and I only played about six hours of 25 cent video poker. I suppose that I booked at just the right time.

    My only south strip plan is to do a MyKONAMI freeplay mission; I can redeem four of those for $25, and I have one each at NYNY, Excalibur, Luxor, and Mandalay Bay. I should be hitting Mandalay Bay on the first or second day of their reopening. Also, when I checked my MLife app, I was very surprised to find that I have $20 in freeplay at the Luxor; I’m pretty sure that the last time I was there was in 2009.

    That’s about it - I expect that it will feel a bit strange to me to be experiencing Vegas on my own after so long, but it might be nice to not have to worry about whether or not my SO is enjoying herself. It won’t take anything too special to keep myself happy - all I really want is some good bartop video poker with plenty of drinks flowing, maybe a little bit of slot machine play, a nice steak or two, and a room within stumbling distance of the casino floor. Some craps would be nice too, but I’m not sure if it will be as enjoyable with plexiglass dividers and/or masks. The lack of shows doesn’t bother me; I’ve already seen all of the shows I am interested in, with the exception of Wayne Newton. I’m not thrilled about the mask requirement, but I understand and agree with the need for it, and I intend to comply with it without complaint.

    I’ll try to look at table minimums if I remember, and I’ll report on those and anything else which seems noteworthy. If anyone has questions about the properties I have mentioned, please reply to this thread and I’ll see if I can find some answers for you.
     
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  2. Matty Ice

    Matty Ice High-Roller

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    Good luck! This sounds almost exactly like my solo trip coming up in 4 weeks from today. 2 nights at Four Queens, 2 nights comped at Flamingo, Binion’s/4 Queens app comps, MyKONAMI free play, and video poker. Enjoy!
     
  3. Richard Alpert

    Richard Alpert LOST

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    I'm looking forward to your DT and South Strip observations!
    Have a great trip! :beer:

    RICHARD
     
    Return of the Alperts!
  4. carolineno

    carolineno VIP Whale

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    Have a great time. I love the South Strip - It's so...well.. so South Strip-y! If you make it to Mandalay Bay I'd love some snapshots. We love pictures here!
     
    Entire trip at my favorite hotel!
  5. Astribling

    Astribling Alice In Casinoland

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    As sounds like my kind of trip! Have a great time!
     
    Postponed Rudies Weekend + Girls Getaway Trip
    10 days, 4 hotel changes, Caesars, Plaza, Paris, Cosmo! YASS!!
  6. B T

    B T Engineer, gambler, drinker. Order varies in Vegas.

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    Awesome people on this board wanted a review of Apache Hotel.
    Good luck! Your trip looks like mine with the Binions/MyKonami app rewards. I will also be doing the same 25$ freeplay.
    You are not missing out on the chicken fried lobster. It was too greasy with cooking oil last time I had it and lobster was too rubbery.
     
    Caesars Palace post birthday
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  7. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Good luck on your trip!
     
  8. Earthman

    Earthman Tourist

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    Thanks for all the good wishes!

    My flight on Southwest was only about half full, including the empty middle seats. The airport was nearly empty. My wait for a Lyft was about 15 minutes. When I arrived at Binion’s they didn’t have a room ready, and they refused to check my suitcase on account of the corona virus. I made the best of it and kept my suitcase next to me while playing video poker for about two hours. By then a room was ready; it was an “accessible” room, but the front desk clerk assured me that no one else had requested it. It was much larger than I expected and would suit someone in a wheelchair quite nicely. I like a softer bed, and I found this one quite comfortable. The AC worked just fine, and the room wasn’t noisy at all. It’s not fancy, but it suited my needs adequately. The one drawback was a lack of counter space in the bathroom; if my SO was with me, she would surely be dissatisfied with that.

    After getting settled into my room, I walked down to the Golden Gate. The bartender was friendly, and I asked him about the drink ticket system. He said that it was still experimental and that he was still allowed to exercise discretion when comping drinks. He comped my first one when I put money in the machine, and two more when I was playing at my normal speed; I assumed that the ticket system wasn’t currently being tested and forgot about it. As I was getting ready to leave, the bartender said “Hey, you got one!” and pointed out my first drink voucher which had just printed out. This does not bode well for the voucher system.

    I then walked down to the D and collected my two $25 match play chips for my Southwest boarding pass. I didn’t have much luck with video poker at the Vue bar, and decided to get some food.

    White Castle restaurants aren’t located in my part of the country, and I have only had food from one of their restaurants once about fifteen years ago, although I have bought their frozen burgers from the grocery store several times, and I liked those just fine. I was surprised that I didn’t like the ones I got on Fremont Street, nor did I like the nasty onion burps later. Now I know better.

    I then walked down to El Cortez, but I didn’t have any luck there, and the bartenders seemed to be in foul moods. I soon went back to my room for a nap.

    I woke up around midnight and decided to walk over to the Four Queens. There weren’t any bands playing on Fremont Street, but there was a busker with an electric guitar and an amp who was actually pretty good - much better than the bucket drummers! I had pretty good luck at the bartop video poker, and at a Silver Strike machine as well - it gave me 8 $10 tokens in about 15 minutes of play. The bartenders were friendly, and the late night Fremont freak show was entertaining as usual. When the Binion’s cafe opened at 7, I had a steak and eggs breakfast and then went to bed.

    I woke up just after noon and went back to Four Queens. I hit four deuces while playing Deuces Wild, followed shortly by a wild royal flush, which put me close to being even for the trip so far. I had another excellent steak at Magnolia’s, and headed back to the room.

    That’s about it so far. The bartenders seem to be under pressure to enforce the mask requirement, and they seem to be getting about 95% compliance. The D and the Golden Gate are the only casinos I have visited so far which are taking everyone’s temperature as they enter. There are metal detectors which supposedly serve as temperature detectors at the entrances to Fremont Street; you have to walk through them, but nobody seems to be paying attention to the results - everyone makes the machine beep and just keeps on walking. Wearing a mask while drinking and gambling is a pain, but not quite as bad as I thought it would be - you get used to it. It would be much more troublesome if I smoked. I haven’t seen too many tobacco smokers on this trip, but I sure have smelled a lot of marijuana - it seems to be everywhere.

    On to NYNY tomorrow!
     
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  9. nfajgmbr03

    nfajgmbr03 High-Roller

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    I wonder if your experience at the Apache is the same as mine. I was on the second floor and could actually hear the slot machines downstairs in my room. It was very amusing to me but I sleep like a rock so it was not an issue.
     
  10. Earthman

    Earthman Tourist

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    No, I didn’t hear any casino sounds in my room (284), although I did hear some in the hallway coming up from the stairwell. I think that my room was above the back side of the casino rather than above the casino floor. E4E9E1F0-9F19-4921-A03F-E056D4C36399.jpeg 80CCB50C-4BEC-4890-A287-B79FBDDF49B3.jpeg C3C06787-2317-47B4-9B93-E4E1C9E2F68D.jpeg 00BB0E08-2765-468B-B5B7-E6A8B9CCC377.jpeg 00BB0E08-2765-468B-B5B7-E6A8B9CCC377.jpeg 00BB0E08-2765-468B-B5B7-E6A8B9CCC377.jpeg
     

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  11. Ty

    Ty ?

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    Following along. Good luck and thanks for posting.
     
    In search of Emerald
  12. nfajgmbr03

    nfajgmbr03 High-Roller

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    Yeah that's pretty slick. I haven't see a room with the recliner before. Maybe just the handicap accessible rooms have those. The toilet is separated too, which is nice. A regular room really has the bathroom crammed all together. I would prefer this room over one of the regular ones. I'll have to post a few pictures of my last room for comparison. I'll do so a little later.
     
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  13. sybgal

    sybgal VIP Whale

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    Well...….sorry but I may be a bit spoiled and not even by a 5* place but that room gives me the creeps...
     
    Overdue.....c-19
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  14. vsop

    vsop Low-Roller

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    Was that a working rotary phone on the night stand:hmmm:.
     
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  15. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    It looks fairly new by the finishes, but also looks what I expect a hotel from 1950 to look like.
     
  16. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    At the golden gate bar @Earthman, were you playing with a card? If so, how many points did you earn?
     
  17. Earthman

    Earthman Tourist

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    Sybgal, I didn’t get a creepy vibe when I was staying in the room, but looking back at the photos, I do sort of see it now. I can easily imagine all sorts of nefarious things taking place there. When I checked in, I did ask the desk clerk if the room was haunted, and she smiled and told me that the entire hotel was haunted. She may have been telling the truth.

    vsop, yes, that was a rotary phone, but I can’t say for sure if it was working or not. There was no other phone in the room.

    tringlomane, I was using a player’s card at GG, but I didn’t check to see how many points I earned. Probably 12 to 15; certainly not as many as 20.
     
  18. kathiemc23

    kathiemc23 Low-Roller

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    I had no idea, but this made me go search about the Apache hotel and this is what I found:

    The Hotel Apache is reportedly haunted by the spirits of mobster Benny Binion and his wife, Teddy Jane. Binion bought the hotel in 1951, and he lived there with his wife, who kept the books, and two sons, who oversaw the tables.

    It is said that Benny and Teddy Jane still haunt the hotel rooms above the casino, which was featured in an episode of "Ghost Adventures."
     
    Birthday trip - hopefully
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  19. BoVegas

    BoVegas Tourist

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    Enjoying your TR, love the downtown area, good luck from a fellow Texan.
     
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  20. Earthman

    Earthman Tourist

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    5DD52439-01E4-47D1-8F3A-4910CDC58CEC.jpeg 6F56FF80-C8AD-4C94-9F99-7F915458FC35.jpeg 6F56FF80-C8AD-4C94-9F99-7F915458FC35.jpeg 5DD52439-01E4-47D1-8F3A-4910CDC58CEC.jpeg 785F4ADA-C670-402A-9850-39EE073DAA69.jpeg A3988F6A-9167-4B18-91F5-D216541F3529.jpeg F004B89A-DC69-402C-B1F8-AD16E610D27D.jpeg 807D76AE-C5AD-45EE-852D-E165903B9037.jpeg 1985ABFF-93D4-47B6-B283-211128949344.jpeg 614640FE-DA1E-447F-8E5D-02A34E21CD32.jpeg 6F56FF80-C8AD-4C94-9F99-7F915458FC35.jpeg I took a Lyft from Binion’s to NYNY on Wednesday morning; the wait was about 25 minutes. The driver was a woman who had grown up in Armenia during the Soviet era, and we had quite an interesting conversation. I tried to upgrade my comped room to a spa tub room; the desk clerk told me that none were available, but that she could put me in a Marquis spa suite for $70 per night. I told her that I didn’t want to spend so much on just myself; she stepped away, conferred with her manager, and then offered me the suite for $45 per night. I said yes, and then she told me that it was an “accessible” room too. (I suppose that there are a lot of these available lately; come to think of it, I don’t remember seeing anyone in a wheelchair during my entire visit. Maybe those folks are choosing to stay home.) The room was awesome, except that the AC could have been a little cooler: I tried to find a “VIP thermostat hack” on the internet, but I couldn’t find one for that model of thermostat. I never did get around to calling maintenance about it, so I suppose that it didn’t bother me that much.


    The gambling was pretty good for me this time; I lost slowly, and ended up taking a little over half of my stake back home with me. I’ve certainly done worse in the past! I did spend more time on the slots than I usually do; they are currently offering 5X points for slot play, and that adds up quickly.

    Social distancing was being enforced even more strictly than it had been downtown; every other machine was disabled and the extra seats were removed, and during busy times they restricted access to the Center Bar. The hotel’s occupancy was limited to 50%. I noticed that people did not seem to be interacting with one another unless they were part of the same group; the normal interactions of strangers at the bar or at the machines simply weren’t happening. Along with the mask requirement, this was the most obvious difference to me on this trip. I should also mention that the bartenders were working very hard to keep things clean; they seemed to be scrubbing the entire bar about twice per hour.

    On Wednesday I ate at the pizza place in the food court; I ordered one slice but was given a second one for free. It was very tasty! I also tried a food court sushi roll which was pretty good.

    On Thursday morning I decided to walk south to cash in my MyKONAMI freeplay. Excalibur was about as busy as NYNY (at about 10 AM), Luxor was noticeably less busy, and Mandalay Bay was pretty much deserted. When I left Excalibur for the Luxor I took a wrong turn and ended up walking outside by the Strip instead of through the covered walkway on the west side. While taking this outside walk I noticed that the tram was operating, so I decided to take it when I returned.


    At each of the MLife counters I was told that I had to use the freeplay from that property at that property, but I saved it all up and used it at Mandalay Bay without a problem. I turned $130 of freeplay into $85 of cash, which wasn’t a bad way to start the day. I was ready for

    some bartop video poker, but after walking around the Mandalay Bay casino floor a few times I realized that none of their bars were open - at about 11AM on a Thursday. Of course, it was only their second day open, but I did start to wonder if MGM had reopened it too soon. I decided to take the tram back north, but I then discovered that the tram station was closed; the moving tram which I had seen earlier must have been on a test run.


    I walked back to NYNY for a little more video poker. I had a $50 food credit, so I decided to try Gallagher’s for the first time. I started with a shrimp cocktail; there were only four shrimp, but they were the biggest I had ever seen; they could almost have been mistaken for lobster tails, and I was nearly full after eating just those. Next came the NY strip, medium rare, with a baked potato the size of a small child. One of the best steaks I have ever eaten.
    FE6500BE-929A-4852-9A91-75C7A435C98A.jpeg 2969C5A3-002E-4FB6-B02C-AD0C53DD914B.jpeg

    After a meat coma, I awoke for a final gambling session before heading to the airport. My luck was still good, and I hit four deuces for $250 on my way out. My Lyft arrived in about 15 minutes, my plane was about half full, and I slept for the entire trip home.


    So, I enjoyed my trip and I’m glad that I went - but Vegas isn’t quite what it was before the shutdown. Wearing a mask was only a minor pain, and I got used to it pretty quickly - but I was surprised at how much the lack of human interaction took away from the experience. Almost all of my conversations were with bartenders. The gambling was still good, the food was good to excellent, and the drinks flowed as usual. I had no major problems and only a few minor issues, which didn’t really take away from my experience. I’m tempted to go ahead and plan my next trip before the prices go up. Thanks for reading this!
     

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