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Vegas Trip: January 22 – 25, 2009

Originally uploaded by scottyvegas

Air Carrier: Spirit Air, $38.50 per person (taxes and fees included), round trip, non-stop through the Spirit Air’s $9 club.

Tip: If you are a Spirit Air MasterCard holder you can board the plane with first class regardless of zone. This is handy as overhead storage fills up quickly and by boarding early it almost guarantees you storage over your seat.

Rent a Car: Dollar Rent a Car, $10/day, $46.95 Total for trip (taxes and fees included).

Tip: Dollar Express member (Free membership) allows you to avoid the long lines at the counter. Basically get in the car and drive.

Hotels:

  • The Wynn Hotel, Thursday, January 22, 2009, $119 (with taxes and fees) received $150 in free play. Direct email promotion from Wynn.
  • New York New York, Friday and Saturday, $69/night or $150 total with taxes, received $25 in free play, 20% off select restaurants. Direct email promotion from New York New York.

Thursday

This time around, my wife and I had a night flight. We departed Detroit Metro at 8:10pm and arrived in Vegas at 9:50pm (Vegas time) in the rain, yes rain. After we picked up our car (Dodge Caliber) we drove directly to the Wynn Hotel to check in. Thursday night we basically hung out at the Wynn and went over to the Encore (opened 12/2008) to check it out. Both properties are fantastic! It’s amazing how everything is so well thought out. Self parking is right off of Las Vegas Blvd, Registration was a breeze and very fast. The elevators to our room were right off the casino floor, always a huge plus in my book. Drinks at the Wynn are great some of the best in Vegas.

Check out our $109 room, YouTube.com Video:

Friday

Don’t ask me why, but for us, Vegas isn’t about sleeping in and chilling out. It’s all go time, we were up and out by 7:00am, even though we just went to bed at 3:00am. First thing we did was pick up a couple of overpriced coffees at a shop in Encore.  We played at Encore and Wynn for awhile then headed for the Strip. We went directly to the Palazzo (next door to the Wynn). No sooner did the last drop of coffee go down did a Corona appear in front of me, magic? No, Vegas baby!!  Next was The Venetian. I must say these four properties are my favorite on the strip. They are all in a row, have great drinks, good music, and beautiful surroundings!

We checked out of the Wynn at approx 11:00am and headed to New York, New York where we spent the next two nights. Once again check in was very quick and easy, no line what so ever, staff was not as friendly as the Wynn’s. The elevator was conveniently located between the parking garage and the casino floor making it very easy to get to the car or the casino floor. The room was disappointing, apparently not a newly refurbished one. In hinds sight I should have asked for another room but we were eager to get out and get going. Time is precious in Vegas when you only have three days. The remainder of the day was a blur. We literally covered the entire strip walking every step of the way. Let me tell you it all became a little ridiculous after a while. We returned to the hotel around 9:00pm to get ready for the night.       

Tip: After a long day coving the strip don’t lay down before getting ready to head out for the evening. Odds aren’t in your favor for making it out again.

Tip: Remember, Vegas is a marathon, not a sprint. If you start early pace yourself or you will miss the night. Lessons learned!

Saturday

Got up early and headed out to visit some off strip properties. The following list is the order we went in.

Silverton CasinoSee review from 11/14 – 11/17 2008 trip

Southpoint Casino  See review from 11/14 – 11/17 2008 trip

Red Rock Casino – Wow!!! I was very impressed by Red Rock Casino as I was the whole area. Red Rock is about 15 miles East of the Strip. The Casino is laid out nicely with plenty of clubs and restaurants. As usual with Station Casinos there is a mini food court, full movie theater, arcade, and bowling alley on the premises. The pool looks great as we went out and looked around. Drink service was good, waitresses were friendly, and drinks were tasty. This place just has a good vibe about it. Oh, did I mention I came out with more money than I went in with? I will definitely go back..

Red Rock CanyonClick to see review

Aliante Casino – Aliante Hotel Casino opened in November of 2008 and is also a Station Casino. It’s located about 10 or so miles north of the Strip. The review for Red Rock Casino can apply to Aliante as they are very similar in style and amenities. Station casinos were good to me as I also left with more money than I came in with thanks to a deuces wild multi-hand video poker machine and four deuces.

Observation: Locals Casinos offer amenities that cater to the surrounding communities with theaters, bowling alleys and arcades. It’s weird to being playing a game, drinking an adult beverage and smell popcorn. When you look up you see a line with families going to the show. Or in sports books you see friends and neighbors gathering to watch a game like they would at a local bar.

Downtown – Now I hate to diss anything Vegas and I am sure many people love it here, but I have determined that the Fremont Experience is NOT for me. The casinos are old, cramped, in need of repair, and are very smokey. The description given to the casinos can also describe many of the patrons, it’s basically your flea market crowd, not that there’s anything wrong with that. With that said, you can get some good value there. Table game minimums are low and food deals are plenty, however, I didn’t stick around long enough to sample neither.

Tip: The Golden Nugget offers one very cool feature, a salt water aquarium in the middle of the pool with large sharks swimming in it. It even has a transparent water slide that runs through the middle of it. 

After Downtown we headed back to the strip where we made rounds to Mandalay Bay, Luxor, Excalibur, Monte Carlo, Paris, and Planet Hollywood. The Miss America pageant was going on at Planet Hollywood that night. After the event the girls were walking around with their sashes. It was interesting to see but wow what a bunch of prima donna’s. Finally we headed back to New York New York where we promptly passed out.

Sunday

And then there was Sunday. Oh how time flies while in Vegas. Well at least we have the whole day because of the red eye home. We stayed mostly on the strip visiting our favorite casinos. Planet Hollywood is a fun place, the music is good, service is spotty but drinks are decent. The whole feel of the casino is like a club. Towards the end of the day my wife sat at a machine that was paying off, I came over and we had fun playing for awhile. It’s always good to hit when you are about to leave.

Departing Vegas at night kind of puts a damper on the whole day as you know you will soon be returning back to reality in a matter of hours. The flight was smooth and fast but I was not able to sleep much. We went straight home and passed out, again!

Trip Summary

Once again we went during the Chinese New Year. There was a noticeable difference compared to last year. Casinos were busy for the weekend but I didn’t notice as many Chinese people as we did in 2007 and Vegas wasn’t as decorated for the New Year either. Let it be known that January is an unpredictable month to visit. We experienced many different types of weather on this trip. Raining when we arrived even poured for awhile but temps were mild. Friday it was much cooler with off and on showers and overcast skies, but it cleared in the evening. Saturday was the best weather day. The sky was mostly sunny and temps reached 70 degrees, this was our best day. Sunday, the clouds returned and it was very windy, temps were cool and the wind made it feel even cooler, very uncomfortable. Once again we both contributed to the Las Vegas economy, but loses were kept to a minimum. Overall it was a good time and I eagerly await my next trip to Las Vegas!

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Red Rock Canyon Excursion

Originally uploaded by scottyvegas

It’s easy (and rightly so) to get caught up in all the hoopla Vegas has going, but have you ever been walking down the strip then realize mountains were all around you? Living in the Detroit area where the only “mountain” is made out of trash covered by dirt, I find the mountains intriguing. So for our 1/22-1/25 trip I planned to head to Red Rock Canyon and check it out, I’m glad we did.

Tip: As a bonus, The Red Rock Hotel and Casino is on W. Charleston Street which is also the road that leads to the scenic Red Rock Canyon loop. Red Rock Hotel Casino (Station property) is worth the trip! (See 1/22-1/25 Trip Report).

Tip: If you own a GPS and plan on renting a car bring it along. If you don’t own one but plan on visiting off strip casino’s or other area attractions think about renting one from the car rental company. A GPS can make your side trips more fun by getting you there quicker and a whole lot less frustrating.

The Red Rock Canyon is a 13-mile scenic drive. The cost is $5 per car and has many parking areas so you can pull over and take pictures. The recreation area has many hiking trails with multiple degrees of difficulty. We saw plenty of hikers and people climbing the rocks. I was surprised to see many runners and cyclists along the drive. Interestingly enough this attraction receives over a million visitors a year. Supposedly wild burros and long horn sheep run wild, though we didn’t see any. There are also many springs within hiking distance, we didn’t visit them either. If we ever decide to stay longer than a few days I would love to come back and explore the area more keenly. If I ever decide to take up residence in Las Vegas this is an area I would be interested in.

The 411

  • Cost is $5.00 per vehicle
  • The Visitor Center is open daily from 8:30am to 4:30pm, closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.
  • 13-Mile Scenic Drive, Red Rock Overlook on State Route 159 and Red Spring
    • October 1 -31, 6am to 7pm
    • November 1 – February 28, 6am to 5pm
    • March 1 – March 31, 6am to 7pm

Red Rock Canyon Website

Sahara Casino offers FREE BURRITO (if you can eat it)

 

Hungry? Really hungry? Then here’s how to get your free burrito, just head over to Sahara Hotel and Casino’s NASCAR Café and order the “Bomb”. The Bomb is 2 feet long and weighs 6 pounds! It costs $19.95 but if you eat the whole thing you get your money back plus a T-shirt that say’s “Conquered the Bomb”. Ready for the best part? As an added bonus the kind folks at the café will also give you two unlimited passes to their roller coaster! (diaper and barf bag extra) Just what you want after downing 6 pounds of beans, beef, and cheese……..  Can’t finish? No worry, there is a consolation prize, a T-shirt that say’s “Weenie”.

Check out this video on The Las Vegas Weekly:

 http://www.lasvegasweekly.com/videos/2009/jul/15/613/

What is your favorite form of gambling?

Originally uploaded by scottyvegas
 

 

It goes without saying that when most people think of Las Vegas they think of gambling. Yah, yah, I know there’s plenty to do in Vegas without betting a dime. But undeniably, gambling is the overwhelming reason many people visit Vegas. So I was thinking, what is your favorite form of gambling while in Vegas? Vote for your favorite in this month’s poll. Have something to say? Fill free to vent in the comments below.

The Results are in!

Give me slots!                     50            63%    
Table games for me           10             13%    
Video poker all the way     10            13%    
Sports book fanatic            10             13%