Downtown Las Vegas Trip May 2013Since i enjoy reading other Blog Posts, I thought I'd try posting one of my own after a 5 night stay Downtown. Please excuse any time or memory lapses. I'm not real good with names unless you've made an impression either good or bad.
Left the house, yellow parking at the airport, Southwest check-in, uneventful flight to LAS. We arrive at a little after 7 in the morning. Scott, our driver from Presidential Limo is calling my cell phone as soon as I hit the terminal floor, he's waiting for us in Baggage. I cannot say enough about using this service, booked it on line months ago after booking the air ticket. Book in advance, on-line with a Credit Card, $103. That's round trip to and from our hotel, great service, just add tip. We had a Escalade EXT both ways. It makes the best sense to me to get in and out of the Airport with the least amount of hassle, especially since they have Limo parking one level below ground for quick exiting the property.
Off to the Golden Nugget, pretty slow on a Thursday morning around 8. Nobody checking in at the Rush Tower entrance. My corner junior suite isn't ready yet, BUT, for only $30 more per night, we can get the upgraded corner junior suite on the upper floors(Rush Club)that's ready. The upgrade comes with free wi-fi, free Fiji water, free K-cup coffee, free use of Spa equipment, cutting in line at the restaurants. The wife see's the free gym and says "get it". All those things are easily +$30 per day. My 2 daughters were arriving the next day for 3 nights, so I upgraded their room too and we all stayed on the 22nd floor. Also complimentary coffee, water, fruit, candy and newspapers in each elevator lobby on those floors. it really was worth the upgrade, especially since the WHOLE tower is non-smoking to begin with. Did I also mention there are NO RESORT FEE's! I also forgot my iPhone charging cable and had to walk down to Walgreens to get one for $8.
After unpacking(mandatory on arrival), I left the wife to work on her University of Phoenix homework and went downstairs. There is a new Baccarat pit around the corner from the Rush tower check-in. Across from the Chart House. $100 minimum. 4 tables, nice. Let me mention too, that the Kentucky Derby and the Mayweather-Guerrero fight were on Saturday. I found my usual $.25 8/5 BP machines outside the Grill. A few 4 OAK's, One SF. These are my favorite machines in the building. Not much going on. I strolled around looking at tables and minimums. I noticed EZ Paigow was now gone at the Nugget. There is now ANOTHER cute girl game pit across from the table games. 6:5 BJ mostly and while the girls were cute, they appeared clumsy and clueless while dealing. Most of the time those tables were filled with young men and women, howling when the got a BJ that payed $6. My wife said the machines were feeling tighter than our last visit 18 months ago.
I drifted over to Binion's and found a 4 bank of $.25 8/5 BP machines on the way to the cage. Again, nothing great here either. Binion's hasn't changed too much lately except for more machines and less tables. Over to the Cal, nothing new there, then across the Bridge to the MSS. I played the $.25 9/6 JOB and DB machines while waiting for the Wife. Again, nothing happening. One 4 OAK that get's you the scratcher if you remember to stop and call the attendant for one. We went to the Triple 7's Brewpub for a late lunch. The food was pretty good, a grilled ahi salad and a flatbread pizza at the bar. The beer was just so-so that day. The Wife, beer expert, said our beer had an off taste so she was disappointed. We walked down to the Plaza to drop her off at the 5 o'clock bingo. The Plaza still has that weird smell. I can't quite describe it, like wet paint or drywall mud drying. They now have the Hash-House-a-go-go in the lobby and Oscar's Steakhouse in the "Casino" restaurant overlooking Fremont Street. We just dicked around the rest of the evening. The Wife loves that Michael Jackson machine. She had to play it everywhere we found it. Off to bed after a long day of travel.
The Girls arrived on Friday. We had a late breakfast at Dupar's, which was really good. Then started our trek for Player's club cards for them. Nothing free anymore except a deck of cards or $5 or 10 in free slot play. The wife actually won at Plaza bingo that afternoon, $30 cash and $250 in free slot play. That was her biggest win for the trip. That afternoon was also the first time I've played bubble craps. I was waiting for her at the Plaza and put $40 dollars in. It was actually real easy to figure out. I was up to $100 and think I cashed out for $60. It was fun and I spent the time talking to this lady from San Diego while we played. Dinner that night was at the Chicago Brew Pub at the 4 Queen's. They have the BEST IPA draught i've ever had downtown. Their pizza is pretty good too. The only bad incident happened that night too. We went up to bed and I woke up to hear someone playing drums like in the movie "Drum Line" around 3AM. It would not stop and continued on and on. We're on the 22nd floor and I'm hearing this noise shake the room windows. Our room had East and South facing windows. Not being able to sleep, I woke the Wife. She, of course, didn't hear it until I woke her up. Around 330, I called the Nugget Security. I explain it to him and see if he can get it to stop. I'm paying money to sleep! He volunteers that this has happened before(!). Now, I'm on the 22nd floor and if I can hear and feel it, others must be experiencing it too. He say's he'll see what he can do. It is Fremont Street he says. I tell him I'm used to the Fremont noise until Midnight or 1 but this is an intentional nuisance. Maybe he needs to call Metro if he can't resolve it, I tell him. Finally, I hung up the phone and sure enough 10 minutes later people are clapping and the drumming stops. Wow.
Saturday morning was the Breast Cancer walk. People all over Downtown wearing pink. Everyone was parked in the Binion's ramp, needing to come in to have their parking tickets punched. Kid's, strollers, what a mess. I was at The William Hill Sports Book in the back of Binion's that morning to place my Derby picks. They seem to have Downtown covered with at least 3 or 4 Books. My Derby action was $110. I was looking at the fight too but with Mayweather at -600, I'm not going there. The Girl's wanted Brunch, so we went over to the Fremont to the Lanai Buffett and paid with my points. This place has not changed since I first went there over 30 years ago, except the food has taken a dive. The Girls caught the Express bus from Downtown to explore the strip. More Bingo for the Wife at the Plaza. I caught the Derby at the Plaza William Hill. That is a great viewing area with at least 50 different TV's. I caught some Craps there too. Up $150 after an hour, colored up. Back to Binion's to cash my Derby Tickets. $10 place ticket on Orb and some Prop ticket lay $15.50 to win $10. Down less than $10 on the race. Now Mayweather is like -900. That night we went to see Gordie Brown at the Nugget. He was actually pretty funny, is a great impersonator and can sing to boot. I did enjoy it and when coupled with the Saturday night seafood buffet and a free drink before the show, $40 a ticket is a pretty good price. After dinner the oldest and I went to Binion's for a bit of Craps. They let her shoot(virgin craps girl), we bought in for $200 and colored out for $550. That was my biggest win for the trip. And of course the table minimum went to $10 when we left around 11.
Sunday was Breakfast at the Carson Street Cafe. Nice, consistent, reliable. The girls enjoyed some tableside Keno while having Breakfast. We checked into our Cabana at the Nugget Shark Tank pool for the day at 10. Of course the day I reserve a Cabana, it's cloudy and windy and 82 degrees! We quickly blew through the $75 drink credit within a few hours. I'm not sure what the appeal is but it is nice not having kids around(16 and up only), having a reserved space and drink service. We had a semi nice Cabana at $350 for the day. I don't think i'll do it again though. The Girls went to see Zarkana at Aria that night and had dinner at Sirio Italian at Aria after the show. They said the show was so-so and the food was very good. The Wife and I had a so-so meal at the Triple George Grill on 3rd Street. It used to be one of our favorites for dinner, now it's off the list. Back to the Plaza, the Wife sucks out $200 of her $250 free play. I drop $200 at craps. Off to the Nugget and off to bed.
Monday the Girls were leaving at Noon. We met for Breakfast at Binion's Coffee Shop and paid with my card points. Got the Obligatory free pictures with the Million Dollars. They seemed to have a good time while here on Daddy's dime. I think the youngest, who turned 21 in January, may have even left with more than she came with! The wife and I took the free bus from the Cal out to Sam's Town for the afternoon. She headed for the bingo parlor and I headed to the FP DW $.25 machines. Luckily, I got a machine right when I arrived. Since there are only 10 of them, most are hogged by the locals. It was around my 10th or 20th hand when I was dealt 2 Deuces and got the other 2 on the draw!!! What luck. Unfortunately, I played back most of my win until she got done with bingo. I left $40 up but put on 1000 slot points. We took the 430 bus back Downtown and got off at the Fremont. The free bus ride is also a little known secret. I was getting hungry, so we decided to have an early dinner at the Binion's Steakhouse on the 20th something floor. Wow, what a beautiful view, our table faced south looking at the strip. It's badly in need of a facelift but is a survivor. We had a delicious but pricey dinner, great service. A little over $200 for 2 including a bottle of wine and tip. I did have the chicken fried lobster tail and filet(super)!
Nothing eventful on our travel day Tuesday. Limo on time, so-so lunch at the Jose Quervo Tequileria, Southwest on time. I did have parking coupons for long term parking place. Only $25 for 6 days. Beautiful 70 degree weather in ABQ.
A few observations since I went on this long:
1. I spent ALOT of money tipping. Does anyone else do this anymore? Am I the last of a dying breed. Doormen, Bellmen, Maids, Dealers, Waitresses, Drivers, Bartenders, Change People, the list goes on and on.
2. Boyd's Downtown properties are terribly rundown with some of the worst service I've experienced anywhere, especially the Fremont(Craps tables and Cocktail Service).
3. Why must people take kids to Las Vegas??? Can they not find a relative or sitter to watch them.
4. Fremont Street Experience has become overrun with beggars, salesmen, character impostors and freaks. If you're out there after 5PM, you're doing so at your own risk! I wasn't so bothered my first few visits but it seems to be getting worse.
5. $10 Table minimums and more at the GN, Binion's and even the 4 Queen's. Given the cheaper room rates Downtown, I'll be back again. My upgraded corner suite at the GN averaged $200 a night over a weekend for 5 nights. The least expensive Mirage room I could get for a meeting in August started at $179 per night, then add taxes and resort fee.
6. Sorry there's no pictures.
7. I did think of EvenBob and his sound proofing techniques when I had my room disturbance Friday night!
8. Am I the only one who pays for the "free bus"? lol
Right! I give the driver a $1 for each of us each way too.
I'm gonna go back and read this all...but damn man, my gf and I were there may 1-4th...shoulda connected!
Also, you shoulda called your hotel to ask a host for a ride...worked for me with SamsTown...we also rode in an eski, and only cost us a $10 tip...
I find that any free service (shuttles, drinks) deserve a dollar tip at least. I can't believe people don't tip for this stuff. Kinda reminds me of working at Papa John's and never getting a tip from an airport hotel because of foreigners who know better but don't tip. :(
Do you know the equity for this $5k giveaway? I might have to start playing DB for these scratcher cards.
I was just there from the 29th to the 9th. Small