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Son’s 21st, 6/23 – 6/26, Bellagio and Cosmo

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

  1. ebbinns

    ebbinns Low-Roller

    Sep 22, 2009
    Trips to Las Vegas:

    My Trip Report

    We decided about 10 days out to book a trip for our sons 21st birthday, despite the limited openings in Las Vegas. This was the only window of opportunity for him for the next few years so we took a chance and we’re glad we did. SW tickets were just under $200 each and we got 4 free with miles and bought the other 2 for our group of 6.

    Our host at the Cosmo booked a fountain view Terrace Studio for 3 nights, plus resort credit and free play and we agreed to let our son and friends use that room. We had choices of free rooms and credit/freeplay at Wynn, Venetian and MGM properties so we chose to go back to the Bellagio since it was close to Cosmo and since we hadn’t been there in a while. The offer from the Bellagio included a fountain view room but also required a resort fee on a comped room.

    Tuesday, June 23

    We flew SW out of Chicago direct and it was odd going through bag check, TSA, etc. with a mask on, but it was 100% compliance. Our flight left at 6:45 a.m. and we were through security by 5:00 a.m. Very little open for food other than Hudson News and, around 6, Einstein bagels. We got some breakfast and waited to board.

    SW boarding was efficient and worked better than normal boarding in my opinion. The gate agent called out groups of 10 rather than 60 and had you stand on 10 markers on the floor. They told everyone else to stay put until that group of 10 boarded, then paused to clear the jetway and lined up the next group of 10. Since they were only filling 2/3 of the plane by keeping the middle seats open, it was quite efficient. Flight was normal other than the face masks and food service limited to just a cup of water and a cheeto like mix bag. Almost 100% compliance on masks from what I saw.

    Arrived LAS C terminal around 8:30 a.m. on a Tuesday and it was empty. While waiting for my wife in the restroom, a nice slot change lady chatted us up. She seemed happy to be there and to talk to visitors again. We got to baggage claim, met our Presidential Limo driver and bags came right off the carousel one after another and we were off to the limo waiting area. While we got champagne with the limo package, the boys chose to save it for later rather than drink it out of solo cups (Presidential can’t offer champagne glasses due to Covid). Prior to arriving at Bellagio, I checked in online with their app and our room was ready. I got a digital key which I’ve used at various Hilton properties in the past and it kind of worked at Bellagio. We got on the elevator and you need to hold a room key or digital key on your phone up to the reader in order to be able to press a floor button. It didn’t work, but the doors closed and we rode up to a floor higher than ours. When the doors opened, a couple saw all 6 of us on the elevator and chose to wait. We went back to the lobby and the security guard had to activate the elevator for the 26 floor. The digital key worked fine for the room so we dropped off the bags. Unfortunately, there was not an amenity package with facemasks even after we asked housekeeping and the front desk. Must be they ran out.

    I then walked the boys over to the Cosmo and checked in in the VIP room. The room wasn’t ready, but they got their keys and dropped their bags off at the bell desk. We then walked back over to Bellagio, got some physical room keys from a kiosk, picked up the girls and walked over to the Linq to see about eating at Hash House A Go Go. Since HHAGG doesn’t take reservations, we weren’t sure how long the wait would be at 10 on a Tuesday. The hostess at the bottom of the escalator told us 75 minutes so we gave phone number to get texted. I was in need of Gatorade so I asked a security guard if the gift shop was open and he said nothing is open since the hotel is not open, but he suggested to walk over to Harrah’s. We found water and Gatorade at the Fulton food court at Harrah’s and then walked back. I was just about to teach my son and friends how to play video poker when we got the text for HHAGG after only about a 30 minute wait. We went up the escalator and were seated right away with every other table being vacant. Great service, great food.

    Headed back to Bellagio and split off from the boys with the only remaining plans was dinner the next night. I started gambling at Bellagio, but then switched over to Cosmo as I wanted to continue earning offers and keep my host happy. Not much happened on video poker for the day. Met the girls for dinner at Bubba Gump (not my choice, but limited options without a wait) and we called it a night since we had been up quite early in Chicago.

    I did hear from the boys that they did not get an amenity package with masks at Cosmo. They didn’t ask for one either.

    Wednesday, June 24

    My wife and I took our morning walk around 6:30 a.m. Went down to NYNY, crossed to MGM Grand and back up the other side. Since Crystal’s was closed that early, we had to take the stairs down, then up to cross the Aria drive, then down by Waldorf Astoria, then outside until NYNY. It was a bit more challenging than normal when we could walk out the side of Bellagio (closed at chocolate fountains since Spa Tower and tram were closed), back of Aria, through to Park MGM and then NYNY. We saw nobody except workers on the strip. No homeless, no other tourists, nobody until we got to Hawaiian marketplace on the way back north. We saw some “ladies” with their “handler” who mumbled something to me. Must be hard to make that kind of living during these restricted times we live in.

    Breakfast was from District Donuts and the breakfast burrito was fantastic. Nice sweet onions really made this taste great.

    Gambled for a while at Bellagio, then back over to Cosmo. I hit this later in the day…


    Ate at Holestein’s with the boys and then we looked around for some gelato, but nothing was open around Bellagio so off to bed.

    Thursday, June 25

    My wife wasn’t up to walking today so I walked from Bellagio up to Fashion Show mall, crossed to Wynn and back. I walked through Caesars on the way, but had to backtrack as the Forum Shops were not open even for a walkthrough. Some pictures I snapped show how quiet it was, even for a 7 a.m. on a Thursday.

    Huge photo drop starts now ...

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    I entered the Wynn by the valet and they just had a security guard at the entrance. Nobody on the casino floor except workers. I encountered nobody on the walk from Wynn casino through the Esplanada to the exit. At that exit, security had a temperature check camera, but I didn’t get to see it in use since nobody was coming in.

    I crossed to Palazzo and when you enter, you can take a short escalator up to shopping or down to the casino. On the way down, they had 2 security guards and a temperature check camera. One security guard stepped over to a monitor and checked before nodding to me as I stepped off the escalator. When I crossed into the mall area by the LOVE feature, they were not checking temperatures. I walked through a completely empty Venetian shopping mall and noticed they were checking temperatures at the main Venetian upper level entrance (where the timeshare hawks usually hang out). Not much else to see as I walked down to Cromwell, crossed to Bally’s, then crossed to Bellagio.

    Breakfast was from Palio by the Bellagio pool entrance and then I played at the Cosmo right from the start today and hit this in the High Limit room…

    IMG_1176.jpeg IMG_1175.jpeg

    I was asked how I wanted it and I took cash. They asked if I wanted to be set up on the fast pay where they record your handpays, but just accumulate them until you leave and you get one W2G and the payout at the end. I said that I’d been there for a few days and this was my second handpay so I wouldn’t likely be needing that service.

    It was around 3 p.m. and a slot attendant came around telling everyone at the machines that they now had to wear a mask when playing. She offered to give us masks if we didn’t have them. I thought that was strange since it wasn’t mandatory until Friday morning per the governor’s orders. Most complied except when drinking and/or smoking.

    Dinner was at Joe’s Seafood and Prime and was fantastic. We had reservations and wore our masks up to the table, but kept them off during the meal and put them on again on our way out.

    Friday, June 26

    Started with breakfast from District Donuts at Cosmo. The Kolache was great and the glazed donut was good as well. I then walked down to Luxor to use 3 MyKonami free play coupons. Since I was walking around 8 a.m. it was hotter and a bit busier, but still well below normal strip volume. When I got to Luxor, the sign at the MLife desk said they opened at 8 but it was empty. I found someone at the concierge desk who shrugged their shoulders and said “it’s only the second day open so there’s bound to be some problems”. Ok, thanks. I then found a very helpful slot attendant who pointed me to the left side of the main cage where they had an MLife rep who very cheerfully loaded my freeplay. I put $20 in the nearest VP machine and played out my freeplay for a net win of $23.75.

    Next was the Excalibur and they had their MLife desk staffed with two people. Walked out with $25 win. On to NYNY where, typically, the MLife rep was rude! Got my freeplay and walked with another $25 win. Back to Cosmo for the scratcher promotions where I got $110 freeplay on 2 scratchers. I also had earned $294 in freeplay so I played off the $400 freeplay for a $700 profit. I checked the VIP desk for a copy of my folio to be sure the boys didn’t charge anything to the room or mess with the bar/fridge in the room and all was good. My host cleared all but tax and tips.

    Checked out of Bellagio, checked our bags with the bell desk and walked over to Paris for lunch crepes. Limited menu, but good food. Paris walkway between Paris and Bally’s (closed) was empty as you can see in the pictures.

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    Walked the Miracle Mile shops to kill some time, then back over to the Bellagio to meet the boys for the limo to the airport. All went well at checkin, but TSA precheck lanes were not open. Still didn’t take long and we were at our gate 90 minutes ahead of time. Got some food and off we went as usual (except the facemasks).

    General observations

    We wore masks from arrival at MDW in Chicago to getting out of the limo at Bellagio. As we walked through Bellagio, Flamingo, Linq, Harrah’s and Cosmo the first day, I would say about 50% of the people had masks on. Drop that to 25% when walking outside. By Friday, it was 100% indoors and 75% outdoors. Security at Caesars, Bellagio and Cosmo would ask you to wear a mask and offer you one, but I didn’t see them push hard if someone declined. Masks were easy to pick up at Bellagio hand washing stations, but not at other casinos.

    We didn’t get regular housekeeping at Bellagio or Cosmo. We asked for it the second day at Bellagio after realizing they didn’t come the first day. There was no notification in the room about no housekeeping and when I called they said they can come if we call each day. They also offered to just bring towels so that’s an option for some. The boys didn’t ask for it at Cosmo which is probably for the best since I’m sure they were messy.

    While the boys had a good time, it was very subdued and they had limited party options since all clubs were closed. Not ideal for a 21st birthday, but they went to the pool, gambled, drank, went to the Mob Museum and made the most of it. There were a lot of restaurants closed or limited hours that were inconsistent with signage and website information. Almost everywhere had wait times to get seated, but everyone seemed to understand and went with the flow. No need to rush dinner since there were no shows to get to either.

    There were pros and cons to the machine spacing strategies. Cosmo simply removed every other chair and you could move the chair and play any machine. I never had someone come sit next to me, but I usually play in the HL room. Bellagio has every other machine turned off and I found several that didn’t accept tickets or players cards or had broken buttons. It really narrowed down your options.

    I won’t get into my personal beliefs about face masks, but I did comply where required and it wasn’t that bad. I wore mine outside only when we went to see the fountains because it was a bit more crowded and less social distancing being practiced. While playing at the machines, it was easy just to pull of the mask and have a drink, then put it back on. I always wore a mask when interacting with staff (checkin, cashier, restaurants, players clubs, etc.) out of respect for the workers. I also found some silver linings: public restrooms don’t smell as bad nor did I get overwhelmed with nasty smells on the airplane. The masks also filtered some of the smoke, but the pot smell still got through.

    Another benefit of the “soft” opening of Las Vegas is the elimination of porn slappers and a significant reduction (but not elimination) of timeshare people. We felt safe walking the strip, although it wasn’t after 10 p.m. based on our old people schedules. Several homeless people, some sprawled out in the middle of the sidewalk or bridge in the morning.

    That’s it for my notes during the trip, but feel free to ask any questions and I’ll be happy to answer in the next few days.

    While I was a bit apprehensive about the trip and felt we were putting ourselves at some risk, I’m glad we went. We’re keeping to ourselves for the next few weeks so if we do get sick, we won’t spread it. It was certainly not a normal trip to Las Vegas, but it was certainly memorable.
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  2. smerrian

    smerrian View from Bally's

    Apr 22, 2014
    South Jersey
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Loved the pics. Loved how empty it was. I love walking around LV and looking at all the grandeur while thinking all this is just for me. Some love to people watch. I love when I think the whole place was built just for me.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  3. RedRiverRose

    RedRiverRose VIP Whale

    Apr 13, 2011
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Nice photos. Hope you had fun.
  4. rooster42000

    rooster42000 Brady # 1

    Aug 8, 2012
    Miramar , Florida
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Nice report.
  5. PrincessaMyron

    PrincessaMyron Low-Roller

    Dec 27, 2003
    Fort Worth, TX
    OMG thanks for so much detail. Sadly, for us, we had to cancel a trip in April (I think??) and don’t know when we’ll be back. All of this has really changed the landscape of our country and seriously notably in Vegas. Great report!
  6. Sparky4

    Sparky4 High-Roller

    Jan 1, 2016
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Thanks for all the pictures. Great to have new reports again!
    Mustangs Take Las Vegas V
    The 3 week after we were SUPPOSED to go for my birthday trip!
  7. oldcrabtom

    oldcrabtom Low-Roller

    Sep 17, 2009
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Nice report, looks like you had the whole place to yourselves !!
  8. Kachow

    Kachow Low-Roller

    Jan 27, 2019
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Great report!
  9. rm22

    rm22 Low-Roller

    Aug 20, 2018
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Thanks so much for all of the pics and report. I'm in Chicago too and the mask thing is nothing new. It sounds like you were ok wearing one there too. Nice that you had a decent time afterall although not the same.
  10. Horseplayer1

    Horseplayer1 Low-Roller

    Mar 1, 2017
    West Coast
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Great report-thanks for all the great pictures and details. I also found the strip fairly dead on Thursday and early Friday, but by Friday night and all through Saturday til Sunday morning, was much more like regular Vegas.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. luck.ofthe.draw

    luck.ofthe.draw VIP Whale

    Feb 9, 2016
    L A
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Love the photos and congrats on those wins!!! :)

    I also love how empty it was. We'll see how it is when I'm there this week...
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Cageet

    Cageet Tourist

    May 29, 2020
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Great report. Congratulations on the wins and your son turning 21. My oldest is turning 12 this year, so i have 9 more years to go before i can take him. Heh.
    Summer Trip
  13. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

    Jan 21, 2013
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Nice report! And congrats on the 8X DSTP quad and the dealt Aces!!!
  14. VegasBhoy67

    VegasBhoy67 Tourist

    Sep 8, 2016
    Bournemouth UK
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    thanks for sharing