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July 26th, 2012 at 12:47:57 AM permalink
So, my father has never been to Las Vegas. He is now 61 years old. Since I love Vegas soooo much (and I love my dad a lot too) I often think when I'm in Vegas about how I'd like to spend some time with him here. I think he'd like it, and every time I've gone to see the Beatles tribute show "Fab Four Mania" and the ever-famous "The Beatles LOVE" Cirque du Soleil show, I think, "Oh, I wish my dad was here to see this!" (My dad's a rock guitarist and I got into music - not to mention The Beatles - because of him.)

So I've told him for a while he should come out for a visit. My dad's finances are always tight so it's not easy for him to just come out. After encouraging him several times to visit he told me a few weeks ago that his girlfriend (who loves Vegas by the way) will be turning 60 years old this coming May 2013 and that he mentioned to her that I wanted them to come out this way and that maybe they could spend her birthday in Vegas.

Well, it's not set in stone yet but I've emailed with her a few times and if they are to come (sounds like they're going to) they would be coming for 5 days and 4 nights at the end of May. I had originally told my dad that if he came out here I would treat him to see LOVE, and since they're both coming I now offered to buy all three of us tickets.

Anywho, she had said that if they came she would want to stay at Palace Station. I told her how I might be able to get she and my dad a discounted room at one of the MGM Properties since I get my room usually comped for free and can get discount rates for additional rooms for friends or family. She said she likes the Palace Station because they have a free shuttle to and from the airport and that my dad would be able to sit at one of the bars there cuz he doesn't gamble and they probably carry his beer (he drinks MGD, but only drinks from 9pm - midnight).

When she first told me about the Palace Station I kinda cringed a little. Now, I've never been there, but I'm a classy girl and like to stay at classy places. Not only that but I like staying at the MGM Properties cuz that's where I like to gamble to rake up my gambling comps, and I like the accessibility to The Strip since the MGM Properties are right there in the middle of it all.

So, I was trying to see if it could possibly be cheaper for her to stay at one of the MGM Strip properties versus staying at her place so that way they can save money and I can stay where I like to stay and play but it's looking like her idea is more economical. I looked at the Palace Station website. For the 4 nights they'd be staying the total comes out to $158 before tax and resort fee is included (but I'm thining there may not be a resort fee there). PLUS free shuttle to and from the airport (not to mention a free shuttle to the Strip at the Fashion Mall).

So you can't really beat that. I was hoping to stay on the Strip too cuz It would be easier to walk around (and I'm not sure if I'll have a car then) and thought that would be better to be able to show my dad all the sights. I've taken The Duece (Vegas public transportation bus) up and down the Strip and it even takes you downtown as well. A 24-hour pass is $7. So we can use the Duece when we're there, I just don't know how long of a walk it'll be to the Strip from the Palace Station.

And I guess if they're staying there it would only make sense that I stay there as well. I usually don't like to gamble outside the MGM Properties but I guess I could gamble most of my money there and hopefully get my room comped and get into their comp system so I can use those perks during that trip.

So do you think I should "tough it out" and stay and play there or do you think there is some way I could convince them to stay elsewhere? It's her birthday and I want her to stay where SHE wants to stay, but thought that maybe I could show her how she might like staying at The Mirage or something like that better (but then again she's spent a lot of time in Vegas and knows all the different places so she's probably already made an informed decision). Plus you can't beat the free shuttle to and from the airport! That saves over $30 each way, doesn't it?

Oh, and a P.S. one of the things my dad wants to do when we get out there is go to the pawn shop where they film PAWN STARS, the t.v. show. I haven't googled it yet but does anybody know where it is? I'm guessing maybe it's downtown. And downtown is one of the places I want to show my dad, let him see Freemont and all that.
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July 26th, 2012 at 1:46:24 AM permalink
A word of caution - I don't think Palace Station's web site is entirely up to date. They have a $16 resort fee, but don't tell you about it or even charge you for it when you book a room online. Second, they charge the wrong tax rate. I booked a room for later this year and it charged 10% tax (instead of 12%), and didn't include the resort fee. When I check in, I am planning on having to pay the difference between (room_rate + resort_fee) * 1.12 and what I was already charged.

So that $158 for 4 nights will probably be closer to $233 after resort fees and taxes. You will also have to put down a $100 deposit which you will get back when you check out.
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July 26th, 2012 at 1:46:33 AM permalink
There will very likely be a resort fee at Palace Station. I am guessing somewhere between $11-$16 per night. I like most Station properties, and some are very nice, but I have never been to Palace Station. Watch out for the Internet fee -- it is included in Station resort fees, but sometimes it gets added separately.

Shuttles to the airport usually cost $7-$8 per person from most hotels.

It might be more advantageous to not sweat the comps and just go where you get a good value (and, of course, play where you win).

If you have a car, by all means stay at one of the nicer locals hotel/casinos, like Sunset Station, Red Rock or Sam's Town. The laid-back atmosphere is more pleasant, and it's easy to get to the Strip and Downtown.
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July 26th, 2012 at 3:51:23 AM permalink
Palace Station is certainly not as elegant as the top tier MGM properties, but it is a nice place with a pretty good location, especially if you're going to stay near-Strip (as opposed to on the Strip). I agree that the bar would be a fine place for him to chill out with a beer, and probably cheaper from that standpoint. If she likes to gamble, you find better values at Palace Station than you do even at MGM properties ($5 minimums at most times, $10 tiles).

Will your Dad find the MGM properties too pretentious? Some guys who are very simple might find the MGM properties overwhelming. Smaller in that case would be better, and while Palace Station is hardly small, it's built so that you could easily stay in the same area and have fun at the tables while he enjoys the bar.
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July 26th, 2012 at 5:26:01 AM permalink
Make sure you get a tower room, they are nice but they also have garden rooms that suck

And, I would rent a car for the 4-5 days rather than take all those shuttles and buses
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July 26th, 2012 at 5:31:21 AM permalink
Why not just give her a room at an MGM property as a birthday gift? Bite the bullet and throw in the taxi for the airport. Or go a little classy and get a limo.

Just do a little investigating to find out which ones have bars that serve MGD.
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July 26th, 2012 at 7:05:12 AM permalink
For someone who's only going to go to Vegas once, Palace Station is not so great. You'll miss all the spectacle and hustle and bustle - which is fine if you are a local who wants some laid-back gambling, or you're jaded from too much time on the Strip, or you're too old to do any walking. But if you're in good enough condition to walk around and see the sights, you don't want to hole up in a glorified bingo room that really doesn't give much of a taste of the traditional Las Vegas experience.

You can get reasonably inexpensive, decent rooms on the Strip at the Luxor, NYNY, Monte Carlo, Tropicana, TI...even downtown would be a better experience IMHO.

My first Vegas trip was at the Palace Station, by the way, so I know what I'm talking about!
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July 26th, 2012 at 9:38:30 AM permalink
palace station is in a pretty good location on sahara. its just a few minutes to las vegas blvd. sahara comes out on the north end of the strip. the pit has a lot of baccarat and pai gow poker tables if thats your thing. and all station properties have really good video poker games. the shop from pawn stars is north of the strip on las vegas blvd before you get downtown. it will be on the righthand side of the road if youre heading from the strip. its around all those quickie wedding chapels.
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July 26th, 2012 at 11:06:07 AM permalink
I played at the Palace Station twice last trip. The casino's nice enough, though I dind't look at their VP much. Mostly I played craps. Nice dealers, friendly and competent, even while breaking-in a new dealer. You can reach it from the Strip easily enough, though coming back, by bus, you should disembark past Las Vegas Boulevard and walk to the SDX stop at th back of the Sahara.

I wouldn't stay there myself, but only because it's not a very convenient location for what I like to do. A shutle to Fashion Show mall sounds good, but you're tied to the shuttle's schedules. Though from Fashion Show you can easily walk to the Venetian/Palazzo, or take the SDX further south to Bellagio and MGM-land.

BTW, the three-day unlimited pass for all RTC buses is only $20 per person.
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July 26th, 2012 at 11:07:46 AM permalink
Stay on the strip or rent a car. I suggest doing both.
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