The Labor Day Trip Report First of all, letâ€™s start this off with some context. We are a late 20â€™s / early 30â€™s couple who go to Vegas several times a year for weekends of partying and sin. We are self-employed and travel very frequently even outside of our trips to Vegas for both fun and work. We know what we like to do and have some typical places we like to visit when we are in Vegas. But that doesnâ€™t stop us from trying new things. We love to meet people, go to clubs, and party for days at a time while in Sin City. This trip was going to be a slight exception though, as there was a convention we needed to attend and it ended just before Labor Day weekend (why would we leave when we were already there?). So, we were going to be there for nearly a week and needed to pace ourselves. Therefore, the first 3 days were low-key and work-focused. The last four days were, howeverâ€¦ well, you can read for yourselves. NOW, the whole trip report is rather long and detailed, but for those of you who want the short version, here it isâ€¦. CLIFFâ€™s Notes for the trip: Day 1 â€“ Travel/Work BORING Day 2 â€“ Work, Convention, BORING Day 3 â€“ Work, Convention, Good Dinner at Ruthsâ€™ Chrisâ€™ Day 4 â€“ Sapphire (Fun), Pure (HOT, No Line, No Cover), Drais (X-Rated ending) Day 5 â€“ Jaguars (Sexy), ICE (Oakenfold, but fun), Seven (Dying) Day 6 â€“ Sapphire (Still Fun), Rehanb (Drama) BE (Too damn cool), Drais (Always hot) Day 7 â€“ Travel Home (quiet, thank God) DAY 1 â€“ Tuesday (Arrival) Flew in from Vancouver on Alaska Air/American Air combo with a connection in LAX. Smooth flights, complimentary First Class upgrades for being Gold on Alaska Air. Nice. On-time arrival, too. Rented a car from Dollar, upgraded to a luxury Dodge Charger (highly recommended). We always rent a car in Vegas, this time because of the work/convention is was a necessity. But its really a matter of flexibility and cost. We have always compared the cost of the rental car to that of all the taxiâ€™s we would take. With just the trip to/from the airport and ONE trip to dinner or a mall, the rental is paid for in taxi savings. Needless to say we used it a lot more than that. While some of our friends will return with their Vegas stories of spending $200 - $300 on taxiâ€™s, our rental car is always less than half that and the difference makes for a nice dinner for a couple of nights during the week. Dollar shuttle was quick, Dollar Express check in was smooth and we were off to THE Hotel. Before we got there, we made a quick stop at Walgreenâ€™s for some necessitiesâ€¦ water, Red Bull, snacks, etc. It was Tuesday night, no traffic on the strip and a quick drive down LV Blvd to our favorite hotel in Vegas (maybe our favorite in the world). THE Hotel at Mandalay Bay. We discovered this gem earlier in the year and refuse to stay anywhere else. Although the MB properties are tight with comps and some weekends our play could get us rooms at other properties, there are so MANY wonderful things about THEHotel, that we wonâ€™t stay anywhere else. We booked on their website in advance and got a room rate that was comparable to what some people we met were paying for standard rooms at the Hard Rock that weekend. As you read about the room later, you will see why this is impressive, given the amenities of the room. Again, it was Tuesday night and traffic was light. Check-in was smooth and easy. They remembered us and called us by name. Gave us a high floor suite (35th floor, and THEHotel is all suites) and pool facingâ€¦ four rooms from the elevator (short walk) and two rooms from the ice machine (for after party ice runs). Great location. If you have never seen these rooms, you are missing out! Two-rooms, two bathrooms. When you walk in you see a very large work/entertainment room with a 42â€ plasma TV and DVD player, a desk area overlooking your window, a multi-function printer/fax/copier, a wet bar, mini bar, leather sofa, sitting chair, recessed halogen lighting and all decorated in modern styles with clean lines, chocolate/black colors and a very chic-feel. There is also a guest bathroom attached in the entryway. The second room is the bedroom. It is equally large with another 42â€ plasma tv, two HUGE armoirs, and a king or 2 queen beds (we have stayed in both, there is no difference in room size or amenities). Then one VERY large bathroom with two sinks, a SUPER deep tub (that will comfortably seat three if you are friendly) and a glassed in shower separate from the tub. There is a WC with a phone and a 26â€ LCD TV near the his/her sinks. Every amenity you could think of is provided (and some you didnâ€™t think of, i.e. a mutli-color pre-threaded sewing kit that proved EXTREMELY timely and useful for sewing a tie back on one of my girlâ€™s sexy tops after a night out). Needless to say there is enough room for 2 people to get ready without getting in each otherâ€™s way. It was late when we arrived, so straight to bed for a big day of work the next day. DAY 2 â€“ Wednesday (Convention and Work) Off to the convention, drive the rental car and park at the Gold lot across from the Convention Center. Parking was only 5 dollars and the skyway to the convention center is right there in the parking lot. Score big for the rental car. Great day at the convention, lots of walking and good stuff. Done late (after 6pm) and back to THE Hotel. We get back and receive a message from a supplier that he canâ€™t ship without some customs/import documentation that we have and he needs. We edit the documents in the room, print them right there and fax them off to the supplier with all the information he needs. All in 20 minutes and no trip to the business center. Score 2 for the workstation and suite. We were planning on doing one nice dinner before our friendâ€™s arrived for the weekend but werenâ€™t sure where. So we chose to hit PF Changâ€™s on Paradise to stay off the strip a little (as the weekend would be completely devoted to partying on the strip). While she got ready, I went down to play craps. In about an hour I had a nice run and made just under $300. So, dinner was amply covered for that night. We drive over to Changâ€™s and the line-up is HUGE. Itâ€™s only Wednesday night and there is an hour long wait for a table at 7:30pm. No thanks, we drive on. We know Vegas well enough to know where the restaurants we like are, but werenâ€™t sure what else we wanted to eat. With the Casinoâ€™s cash in my pocket, I wasnâ€™t worried about where we would end up, I just didnâ€™t want to wait in line. This adjustment on the restaurant choice just reinforced the choice of renting a car! We enjoy nice dinners but werenâ€™t dressed up for much other than Changâ€™s, so we wanted to find something good and upscale yet not too formal. Also, we have favorite steak houses around the country and really enjoy a good steak now and then. After a short drive up Paradise, we found itâ€¦ Ruthâ€™s Chrisâ€™ Steakhouse. I had eaten there years ago and told my girl it was the best steak ever. She didnâ€™t believe me as we have eaten at many famous steakhouses and been fairly unimpressed. We walked in and they sat us right away. The restaurant looks old school with cut glass and dark wood everywhere, but the service was excellent and the food even better. We both agreed and confirmed it a second time: it was the best steak ever, anywhere. What it lacks in ambience and location it makes up for in service and excellent quality food (and isnâ€™t that what matters most?)! Champagne, steaks and a great dessert. Wow, what a wonderful and unexpected joy. Back to the room and early to bed. The convention ends tomorrow and our friends arrive, it will be one of our last good nightâ€™s sleep until Tuesday. It should go without saying that the beds at THEHotel are amazing. Rich, thick cotton sheets, luxurious linens and yummy pillows. It.s easy to sleep well here. Also the rooms have independent thermostats and ACâ€™s so you have control of the temperature at all times. This adds up to an amazing night of rest and we seized the opportunity! DAY 3 â€“ Thursday (Work Ends, Play Begins) This is where the trip report will start to get a little more interesting for those of you who go to Vegas to party rather than gamble and eat!!! Work is OVER for the trip, we go back to the hotel to get ready. My girl goes up to the room to get ready and I hit the craps table. Again, a small hit downstairs ($200) and back to the room with the cash. Sheâ€™s not quite ready to go so I throw a mix CD in the DVD player and IT PLAYS. The sound coming out of the 42â€ Plasma TVâ€™s speakers is EXCELLENT and it turns out that it becomes the sound system for the weekend. HOT! So while we are finishing up getting ready, I pour my girl a Hypnotiq and a Red Bull Grey Goose RBGG for myself (gotta get the party started in the room). Our friends wonâ€™t arrive until midnight and will be checking into the Luxor, so we have some time to kill. She looks HOT and ready for a fun night. Letâ€™s start at Sapphire Gentlemanâ€™s Club. We have always loved to go to Strip Clubs together and Vegas clubs have always had some of the most fun and hot girls. Sapphire is the largest strip club in Vegas (maybe the world) and has a fun, open layout that makes it easy to sit, drink, talk and do whatever you want. Drive over, pay the cover ($30 each) and get a table. Order a couple more RBGGâ€™s (Red Bull/Grey Goose) and check out the scenery. The music is good, the lights are a little low and there are dancers everywhere. Since its only 10pm its not too busy yet. But things are a little different here. The girls arenâ€™t as hot as they were last year. We talk to a few people throughout the week and it turns out that there are so many strip clubs and other opportunities for pretty young women in Vegas that this is the trend. The pretty dancers are harder to find, the number of clubs has diluted the scene! UGGH, what to do. It was relaxing and we had a couple drinks and chatted A nice time. We leave there when its time to meet our friends back at THELounge at THEHotel. Well, everyone shows up around midnight, we have a drink downstairs in THELounge (great service, and a little expensive - $150 for 2 rounds of drinks for 5 people). Now up to MIX on the top of THEHotel. We love this lounge/restaurant and have been there in the past for just dinner as well as met people there for drinks. The VIEW is the reason to go! It was Thurssday night so it was fairly empty even at midnight. No cover, walked right in and were seated at the patio with the best view of the strip by far. All five of us had a few drinks, the waitress (Dana) was attentive and excellent and the music was AWESOME. Although the crowd was small, very beautiful people were the norm. Lounge-type house music. It was a nice calm atmosphere and perfect for the first night. They closed early for us (2am) but since it was the first night, we decided to call it a night and head in. Its very rare for us to get in before the sun comes up in Vegas, but we had some things we wanted to do on Friday during the day with our friends and we had three very long nights ahead we needed to rest up for. DAY 4 â€“ Friday (Let the games begin) Although the arriving friends were a little disappointed that we called it an early night on Thursday, they thanked us that morning and the following days several times over. Pace yourselves, party people. You will be able to go until Monday morning if you do. The first reason our friends thanked us on Friday morning though is we were going to a shooting range. As we live in Canada, most of us and our friends have never shot a gun so we thought â€œwhat better place than in Vegas.â€ Drove out to the Las Vegas Gun Shop and Firing Range on Blue Diamond just south of the Strip on I-15 and rented a Berretta and PK. Got some quick training and each shot 50 rounds at a target. Very fun, but not to be done with a hangover (very loud). Now, off to see the Wynn, the Ferrari dealership (overrated, just visit the gift shop) and then lunch at Margaritaâ€™s at the New Frontier. We have loved this restaurant for a few years. Great Mexican food and good service has been the norm. Well this time the service was good, but the food quality has dropped dramatically. We will not go back. Now the afternoon is getting late, so we head back to the hotel to freshen up and get a â€œdisco napâ€ in before our first big night out. Tonight is going to be HOT â€“ Pure and then Drais. Everyone says Pure is impossible to get into. And it was going to be even harder to get in on Labor Day weekend. BUT, we had been there before and gotten in. However, we were on a list and had a name back then. This weekend there was NO LIST. All the hosts said the only way to get in was to buy a table and a bottle. The best offer we got for our group was $1600 for two bottles, a table and tip. We said â€œno wayâ€ weâ€™ll take our chances. Other people said, you need to go at 9pm, get in line and get a stamp. Then you can leave and come back. We donâ€™t go out that early, so that was out. Well, here is how it went down: We went to Jaguarsâ€™ Gentlemanâ€™s Club. (By far the best in Vegas right now). Scores is taking over this month and the girls are already looking better. We had such a good time that we didnâ€™t get out of there until 12:30am. So then off to Pureâ€¦ we were going to have a tough time getting in PRIMETIME at Pure. We drive up to Caesarâ€™s and the sign is up â€œValet Fullâ€. I get out with the keys and hand the guy a $10 bill and said â€œthink you can find room?â€ He says no problem and gives me a claim ticket. We walk through the entry over to the Pure entrance. It is one of the largest crowds and lines we have ever seen. There are 3 or 4 separate lines with hundreds of people in each of them. They wind around the casino and waiting area in such a haphazard fashion that you canâ€™t tell where they start and end. Well, we never wait in lines, so my hottie grabs me by the hand and walks us to the front where the security guys are letting people out and in. I have a benjiman in my hand to give the guy a $100 handshake if I need to. She walks up, dressed so hot (pics attached), and we drop the name we used last time. He says â€œwhat, do you want to get in sweetie?â€ She says yes, he says â€œwho are you with?â€ She points to me and the other couple we came with and he waves us in, stamps our hands with a special stamp (that to our surprise meant no cover) and we walk right through without paying cover. Less than 2 minutes, no greasing the palm of the bouncer and NO COVER which was $40. Even on Labor Day weekend, Pure has a passable line if you look and act the part! The place was packed and the music was good as usual. Hip hop downstairs and house upstairs. It was impossible to get a drink and we took turns weaving to the bar for rounds. After awhile we found a nice place upstairs to chill and dance (away from the awful misters) and about 3:30am thought we should head over to Drais. The scene in the Barbary Coast lobby is always packed outside of Drais about 4am. This was no exception. It was the same experience as Pure. We walked to the front of the line, my hottie is talking to a girl with a list (Jennifer) and she tells my girl â€œsorry I donâ€™t have you on the listâ€ my girl says â€œNot Possibleâ€ and as we were about to leave, this guy literally moves this Jennifer chick out of the way, opens up the velvet rope for my girl to walk in. (and the 3 of us as well). Again, no tip to that guy or any guy/bouncer, but at Drais, we paid the $50 per person. Drais was packed, pretty people, the usualâ€¦.danced and had a blast, met this hot stripper from San Diego, and these hot girls from Boston, (both sooo into my girl, but not into each other, so we had to pick ) and went home with the HOT Boston girls at around 6 ish, the rest is X rated (you figure it out). DAY 5 â€“ Saturday (Let the games continue) Back to the hotel at around 9ish, catapulted into bed and continued until noonâ€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦. finally got some sleep that afternoon, woke up at about 6pm (Damm, missed the pool again) and went down to the casino while my girl was getting ready. We always feel like vampires when we go to Vegas, sleep all day, go out hunting all night! Broke even at the casino, the girl was ready to go when we got back, so we headed to Sapphireâ€™s for some lap dances. The girls decided to check the menâ€™s side while my buddy& I stayed for some lap dances. I donâ€™t know what on earth happens on the other side of that room, but a â€œIâ€™ll be back honey in10 minutesâ€â€¦turned into a 2 HOUR disappearing act. Hell, I thought I would start getting major lap dances from every girl to show her, but my buddy decided It would be a good time to drop a happy pill (his way to save my pocketbook) and so at around 12:30 the girls come back with a â€œI know Iâ€™m busted but donâ€™t care smileâ€. Thanks to the happy pill my girl & I kiss & make up (till today donâ€™t know the detailsâ€¦.and donâ€™t want to). We head off to ICE to see The dinosaur himself, Paul Oakenfold,â€¦â€¦â€¦..it was everything you can imagine of a dead genre. Although I love trance, it was even a bit too techno for me. But it was low cover for the girls ($20 girls, $60 guys) and no line, and the people inside were good looking. Again, we ended up in the VIP area (where you were supposed to have wrist bands) we obviously had none, but the bouncer liked my girl and we were respectful so he let us in. We decided to leave as we were watching the only guy dancing to Oakenfold with his glowsticksâ€¦â€¦â€¦..not good. We headed to Seven out of curiosity really, and it was what everyoneâ€™s been saying, really dead, no people, music good, but too cold â€˜cause it was too emptyâ€¦â€¦â€¦.had one drink and left. We wanted to get up at a decent hour to go to Rehab. Got to the hotel at around 5am and fell in the arms of Morpheus (finally). DAY 6- Sunday Got up at 10am and headed to the Hard Rock for Rehabâ€¦â€¦â€¦..it was already packed by the time we got there (jeez, what time do these people wake up to get in line????) And waitedâ€¦â€¦â€¦.Rehab opens at 12noon, and so everyone had to wait. Once it opened several individuals waiting in line, went straight to the front and got in. We were really tired and hungry (no breakfast yet) so we decided to try our luck again, and went to the front of the line (which was really a moshpit, all these people trying to get the door guys attention and get in) and my girl caught the eye of this high roller, who paid like 3000 buckaroos, to get in with his posse. He told the bouncer to let my girl and myself in, and off he went. The problem was that the couple we were with did not get that invite, and was not allowed in. â€¦.. bummer. We were actually INSIDE the venue and our conscience got the best of us, and we couldnâ€™t go in without our friends (who were looking at us from the wrong side of the velvet rope with puppy faces)â€¦â€¦..so close but yet, ugly friendsâ€¦..haa haa haa (kidding) We were starving so we left Rehab with the satisfaction that we got in, but with two angry friends in towâ€¦.and decided to shop & eat. I wanted food, and my girl wanted bootsâ€¦â€¦.needless to say less was spent on food than boots, but we were able to get back to the hotel mid afternoon for a much needed â€œdisco nap.â€ Time to get ready for the last big night: Body English & a return to Drais. Again, the girl is getting ready so I head to the tablesâ€¦â€¦and make another hundred. Sheâ€™s ready to go when I get back, so we head to Sapphireâ€™s to start the night.. After a drink or two we head to pick up our friends and head off to BE. NOW, after our experience at Rehab this afternoon, we were NOT going to take any chances at BE. So I called my old friend Bill Lee. Remember this name. Remember. Side note: Over the past year, when Iâ€™ve been with a group of guys or a large group at a hot club, Bill has arranged table service for us and done a great job. Iâ€™ve never called on him just to pass the line, (my hottie usually takes care of that) but tonight was an exception. Bill was happy to hear from us, and said heâ€™ll meet us at BE around 11ish to walk us down. We hooked up at the hard rock, shortly after 11 and, true to his word, he weaved us through hundreds of people in line, past the bouncers and down into the club without cover. His hosting services were worth every penny. Even our ugly friends felt like VIPs haahaahaa Once down there he invited us to his VIP table upstairs and we partied for the next three hours with Bill and his crew. Bill Lee is for real, and heâ€™s the man. Thanks Bill! It was around 4 and we decided to head to Drais, (we noticed a lot of people leaving BE heading for Drais as well). Drais was packed already, huge line outside. My girl (who doesnâ€™t forget a face) walks to the front sees the guy from Friday night and tells him â€œ Hi hon, Weâ€™re backâ€ and heâ€™s all smiles and lets us in. Tonight Drais was $30 per person, not bad we thought. We get in, and you could almost smell it was going to be a wild night, we had the great instinct to get a table for $400 that we split between three friends. With tip, for less than $150 per guy we had a table that sat 6-8 people and got to attract a ton of hotties! It was the second best money spent on the trip (after Bill Lee) and the best decision of the night. Within minutes the club got so packed you couldnâ€™t even walk! Having the table was awesome! We had some hot Latina girls from Nordstromâ€™s in Beverly Hills join us and partied the night away. The club is bumping and there are tons of pretty people, the dancers trickle in after 5 and the crowd is distinctly more local than on Friday night. But I canâ€™t do anything but stare at this amazing hottie across the table from me. After a weekend of partying like a rockstar, all I really want to do is take my own hottie back the THEHotel and show her the reason she is the center of my world. Around 6ish my girl & I decided to head back to the hotel for some kamasutra play. As we are leaving Drais, there is a huge line outside. People are trying to get in, I am sure this scene re-enacts itself every long weekend, but tonight was so packed. We get back to THEHotel about 7am and call for a late check-out. The concierge says â€œno problem Mr. XXXX, ohhh, and the host has taken care of tonight for youâ€. Cool, just a little gambling but at least one free night. My hottie and I spend the next couple hours doing what we do best and finally fall asleep about 9am to wake at noon and check out by 1pm. DAY 7 â€“ Return to Reality After check out (on the phone), we head to pick up some Vegas memorabilia, do some work at Kinkoâ€™s and get some lunch. We get to the airport a little early for a 5pm flight but who can possibly tell the time after 7 days in sin city. The flights home were uneventful and we only wish we had more sleep. But there is nothing we would have traded to get even an extra hour of sleep. Another trip to Vegas and another batch of memories to never forget. Canâ€™t wait to get homeâ€¦. Canâ€™t wait to get back to Vegas. Isnâ€™t that the way it always is?