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Valentines trip to Atlantic City

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Trip Reports' started by hammie, Feb 12, 2017.

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  1. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    My Trip Report

    My wife and I just returned from a pre Valentines Day trip to Atlantic City for one night. We are low rollers and planned on staying offshore in Absecon as Saturday night rates are more reasonable. However, a couple days before our trip, I spotted a deal at Bally's for $119 per night in the Dennis Tower. This was originally the Dennis Hotel and dates back to 1921.

    In the summer, a Saturday morning trip to the Jersey Shore can be bumper to bumper because folks are heading to their beach rentals. But in February it's a breeze. We decided to split a Wawa hoagie for lunch on the ride down as we had dinner reservations at Dock's Oyster House. Our first stop was Resorts to pick up some free play.

    I have no clue when it comes to earning points at Resorts. On my last trip, I played Bonus VP for an hour and a half at full coin, $1.25 per spin and I think I accumulated about 2 points. My wife played on a Wicked Winnings machine and was able to turn the $15 free play into about $200. I played at a $10 BJ table for about an hour until the dealer got white hot and just creamed everyone. He got several 5 and 6 card 21's. I got a Heineken for my $100 buy in.

    We left Resorts and made our way to Tropicana to pick up some more free play. The machines were a little cold at the Trop for my wife and she left most of her Resorts winnings here. I played a little VP and was not feeling the love and went looking for a STP nickel VP machine. Alas, it was not to be found where I left it over a year ago. In its place is the High Limit room. I decided to check it out and found a $1 three reel machine. Probably did about 12 spins with not a single win and felt like a turd in a punch bowl, then I hit this: IMG_2623.JPG

    I collected my winnings and decided to make like a baby and head out. Met up with my wife who had some luck at Quick Hits machine, I traded her TITO for about 20 cents on the dollar. It's our way to manage the bank roll, she's a keeper. We have a joint bank roll, always our money, never yours or mine and it works for us. Decided to get some fresh air and take a couple of photos using panoramic setting from the beach. BTW, the waves are still rolling in.

    IMG_2618.JPG IMG_2620.JPG IMG_2621.JPG
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    The brick building on the far right is the old Ritz Carlton Hotel, now condos. This is where Enoch "Nucky" Thompson lived, he was the basis for the character of Nucky Johnson on Boardwalk Empire. I parked on the street next to Tropicana because the parking garage at the Tropicana is a hike. Time to leave, it was off to Bally's.

    The parking rate at Bally's was $25, but $15 for gold card holders and free for those who put 25 tier credits or spend $75 at restaurants. Hotel guests get a $10 credit towards parking. Parking fees are collected upon departure and you don't get a ticket at the entrance.

    The check in line snaked around a bit but there were 8 clerks and we only waited about 15 minutes. We have stayed in the Dennis Tower a couple times previously, it's totally fine and I could see the ocean. But if I held up my thumb, it would block my ocean view. We decided to rest a bit before venturing over to Dock's. Decided to grab a cab over to the restaurant as I didn't want to be late. Made reservations on Open Table, what a great service, fast, simple, and easy. From Bally's cab area, it was a $6.60 fare, no extra charge for the stench. Thankfully, it was a short ride, but roach coaches like this give cabbies a bad name. Didn't want to mess with Uber as we haven't used it in AC and I was unfamiliar with the pick up points.

    Dock's Oyster House dates from 1897 and is owned by the Dougherty family who also own the Knife and Fork (another 100+ year old joint) and Harry's Oyster Bar at Bally's. The current Fourth generation gutted the place and enlarged the restaurant about 6 months ago. They spent several million on this place despite all of the negative news that eminates from AC. Ordered my beloved Manhattan cocktail made with Bulleit Rye, it was spot on. Ended up having a house salad and a crispy Tuna entree, my wife had an arugula salad with seared scallops as an entree. No dessert as we were full, and decided to walk back to Caesars. I didn't feel unsafe, it was probably just 3/10 of a mile to the Bus area at Caesars, the closest entrance from Dock's.

    My wife found a Wicked Winnings IV machine and I found a nickle STP machine and ended my 4OAK drought.
    IMG_2624.JPG IMG_2625.JPG IMG_2627.JPG IMG_2628.JPG

    Had a couple of Black Russians along the way. Cocktail service was very good and I love the on screen ordering system at CET casinos. My only gripe this evening was that I had to wait about 15 minutes for a Total Rewards card as I left mine over at Bally's and was too lazy to hoof it over there. Caesars had one person working at the Gold desk. I had a mystery multiplier that day and ended up getting 7x at the promotions kiosk.

    We decided to call it a night and walked back through Bally's Wild West casino to our room. The Mountain bar was calling me and there was a band playing, but no one leaves his honey on Valentines weekend, right?

    The next morning we got up and decided to hit Bucca di Beppo for Breakfast. They offer a regular menu but we went for the buffet which includes coffee and juice for $20. Should have brought a couple airline bottles and made my grapefruit a Greyhound. I had a BOGO buffet in my TR account, but It didn't show up when I swiped my card at the kiosk. The restaurant requires a printed voucher for the BOGO. But, in my check in packet I was given a $20 F&B credit so I used that. I have a low tolerance for nonsense like this, I don't like to have to grovel for the stuff that appears in my TR account. Don't make me jump through hoops.

    Checked out of the room, packed up the car and returned for a brief session of play. Wicked Winnings for the Mrs. (with a little Quick Hits mixed in) and more of the same nickle STP for me. I ordered a coffee with Irish Whiskey and liked it so much, I had a second. The 4OAK's kept coming:

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    IMG_2638.JPG IMG_2639.JPG IMG_2640.JPG IMG_2641.JPG

    All good things must come to an end, so we left Caesars and went through the Wild Wild West, but not before stopping at the Mountain bar for a beer. There was almost no traffic and made it home in record time.

    Some random thoughts:
    For the first time in several visits, we broke even for the trip. We share a bankroll and I just do a pocket dump at the end of the day. However, I think the Wicked Winnings machine was more of the former and less of the latter. Just sayin'. There were many trips when my honey won and I sh!t the bed.

    CET is that company I have a love hate relationship with. Love them for the easy mid week comps as well as some of their free play, bonus RC offers, multipliers, BOGO buffet coupons. But it just seems as if what appears in my account is one thing and what is available on the TR kiosk is another. Another annoyance is that many of the slots don't recognize a TR card and I have to keep inserting and removing it. Very frustrating. I keep all my cards in my rear pocket so that my phone won't wipe the magnetic stripe clean. I know that my wife will just play on after three attempts and forgo any RC's for that session.

    The Tropicana was packed on Saturday, that place just seems to do no wrong. It's huge and has many dining and drinking options and even an IMAX theater. A great vibe, I can see why they are doing well and leaving Caesars and Bally's behind. Their poker room looked as if less than half of the tables were occupied on a Saturday afternoon. It looks like they installed several Shaq Attack BJ machines in what was part of the poker room. Parx Casino has this game also.

    Dock's Oyster House, I think I found my new go to place. It's like a brand new restaurant that's 120 years old. They offer a great Happy Hour menu, buck a shuck oysters and several reduced price menu items. But no drink specials, so order a $7 Heineken and a dozen oysters. They have the real OTC oyster crackers with horseradish too. I felt the prices were fair for the quality and the service was good, except when I asked the waiter if there were any specials not on the menu. He replied: "do you mean food specials?" Duh!

    Resorts still offers 3:2 blackjack and $10 minimum, even on a Saturday afternoon. They are trying to bring in customers with free parking, but I think their target customer is 60+. I saw a table for Pai Gow tiles. Gone is that horse racing machine that was akin to sigma derby.

    Thought about dining at Nero's Italian Steakhouse in Caesars, but their prices even made me blush. $75 for a 14 oz NY Strip? But if you're paying with comps, what does it matter? How high is up?

    Mountain Bar at Wild Wild West has a bubble craps machine. Also, a single $5 craps table that's always packed; this is where the skills based slot machines are. Didn't see anyone playing them in the afternoon. Plus several $5 roulette and BJ (6:5) tables. $3.25 draft Miller Light, Coors Light, and Miller High Life. Try to have just one in August when it's 85 degrees and 90% humidity.

    Bally's and Caesars had a nice crowd on Saturday and Sunday. The second floor of Caesars is smoke free and it makes a big difference.
     
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  2. guapoxxx

    guapoxxx High-Roller

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    Nice report and thanks for sharing! Liked your slot hits and glad you both came away even... My wife and I were in AC this weekend also (stayed at Borgata on Saturday night).
     
  3. Fet297

    Fet297 113 survivor North Vegas

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    Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed it. I agree with your assessment on Trop. They are no longer a low roller joint. They are hitting on all cylinders for sure.

    I always find Total Rewards kiosks confusing. In Ballys they have three or four different types of kiosks. I always swipe my card at most of them until I find the correct one to print out my TR offers. :cry:
     
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  4. Richard Alpert

    Richard Alpert LOST

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    Awesome TR, hammie!
    I loved those panoramic shots!
    Thank you for the report on AC! :thumbsup:

    RICHARD
     
  5. Golfer

    Golfer Low-Roller

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    I like AC, and I especially like Tropicana. Their renovated suites are nice, their restaurant choices are very good, the third floor of the casino is pretty nice, and their ability to track table game play and comp accordingly are also acceptable. I'm going back this spring, and it's the only place I'd consider staying and playing at. If you like playing baccarat in a private area, this is one of the best casinos to do this at.

    Thanks for an AC report. It seems like AC mostly has negative reports, and I've never understood why. I like the ocean there. It's really kind of a different type of get away from me.
     
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  6. smooth899

    smooth899 Low-Roller

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    Thanks for your report! I'm going to Atlantic City this weekend and am staying at Harrah's. In the past I've enjoyed Harrah's casino much more than Ballys or Caesars.
     
  7. Jerseyguy

    Jerseyguy VIP Whale

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    Great report Hammie.Have been to Harrys but not Docks. Breakfast tip ,go to ,believe it or not, Johnny Rockets in Ballys 2 eggs any style,sausage or bacon or ham and fries plus choice of english muffin,bagel or toast a whopping $5.99. Coffee 2 bucks.
     
  8. hotreds

    hotreds Illegitimi non carborundum!

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    Nicely done! SWMBO and I also enjoy Atlantic City as a three or four night mini vacation. Hit the traffic right and we make it from DC area in under 4 hours.
     
  9. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    Thanks all for the comments and reading my report.

    Jerseyguy, Great tip on Johnny Rockets, I will check that out next time. A block away from Dock's is Maria's Luncheonette, a little hole in the wall place for breakfast that is good. I think the Dunkin Donuts in Bally's lobby is doing well, there was a large sign mentioning 1:1 comps.

    Smooth899, good luck at Harrah's, hope you have a great time. I'm not much of a buffet person, but the one at Harrah's for breakfast is very good.

    The shore area is my happy place, put me anywhere from Sandy Hook to Cape May and I'm good. Having 8 casinos in AC is a bonus and a great getaway even for just an overnight. CET is very loose with Sunday-Thursday comps and occasionally we even get a Friday night offer despite being low gold status.

    For sure there are lot of problems in AC, the City was close to bankruptcy and it's operations were taken over by the state, a bunch of casinos have closed in 2014 and there are some areas I would not feel comfortable walking alone. Some of the negative comments are valid, AC is an easy target. But we always seem to have a great time down there.
     
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