My wife and I just got back from our 6th Vegas trip. Stayed at Flamingo 3 nights at $35 per night (thank you board members) and at Tropicana for 2 nights at $55 per night. I just wanted to post some observations and thoughts. 1. CATS buses were curiously absent and we learned they were on strike. Taxi's have taken up the slack and are now the norm for travel on the strip. 2. Flamingo was great. It was our 3rd time staying but the pool is too cold. The air temp was 105 everyday and I'd be surprised if the pool was even 80. Another serious problem is people who go out in the early morning and "reserve" chairs by the pool by putting towels on them. By the time the pool opens, there are no chairs left and some of the people with the towel chairs don't even come out until the late afternoon. It was very frustrating dealing the shortage of chairs and pool that was too cold. One more complaint-I was charged a $5.35 "handling fee" for an envelope mailed to the hotel by my daughter. 3. It was our first time at Tropicana. We had an Island Tower room which was newly remodeled and very nice. The rest of the hotel is showing it's age though. The hallways are dark and narrow with low ceilings and the air conditioning in our room was not cool enough. The pool was nice. They had plenty of chairs and the water temp was just right. My only complaint was the long check-in line for the room and only one clerk working at the counter. 4. MGM still has the best buffet in my opinion. Good variety and wonderful taste. 5. A BIG thumbs down to Caesar's Paladium buffet. There was a problem with the credit card system and they could only take cash. What little variety of food they had was seriously bad. I was able to stomach only the mashed potatoes and rice. There were about five couples eating with us and most were complaining loudly about the food. One older man called the chef out to show him how bad the chicken was. All he got was an apology. I would never eat at Caesar's again and would advise others to steer away or ask to see the food before going in because it is a total rip-off. 6. In general, Las Vegas seemed to have a different feel than last year. Maybe it is 9/11 or maybe budget cutbacks due to recession. The courteous, friendly service that was standard in the past seemed to be missing. We dealt with long lines and tired unhappy faces. I hope this is just a temporary thing because it can really affect the mood of a vacation.