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  • Did You Know?

    • • LV's McCarran International (LAS) is the 8th busiest Airport in the U.S. and number 23 in the world, with 41.7 million passengers
    • • 79 percent of McCarran's departures and 82 percent of arrivals are on time, the average departure delay is 52 minutes and arrival delay is 50 minutes, and cancellations are at 0.6 percent
    • • McCarran Airport is only two to four miles southwest of most Las Vegas Strip hotels
    • • Metered taxi fares to major hotels on the Strip cost approximately $15–$25. A consolidated car-rental center is three miles from the terminal and is accessed by shuttle bus. ScottyVegas always rents a car.
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Review: Palazzo Resort Hotel and Casino

luggage

When I plan a trip the dates we go are usually dictated by when I receive the cheapest airfare. Once airfare is secured I go looking for a hotel, car, etc.. Well for our January 7-12, 2010 trip I booked airfare in May of 2009! (Round trip ticket, including taxes and fees, $100 each).

When I started to look for a hotel I quickly realized we were going during the largest convention in Las Vegas, CES (Consumer Electronic Show). Because of the convention hotel rates usually go through the roof. So when I received a great deal from Excalibur I jumped on it. A couple months before our trip I received a post card from Palazzo/Venetian for $49/night, Sunday – Thursday and slightly more for the weekend. I called and inquired about the deal, they said the room was available for $49 that Sun and Mon. But then the person said that I had an offer available for 2 to 4 nights complimentary and he wanted to know if I was interested. Interested? Hell yes! I said. I then asked about that Friday and Saturday he told me that they were booked because of the convention, of course I thought. The only charge was the mandatory resort fee of about $15 per night. This covered internet, gym access and a few other things. Also I had the choice between either The Palazzo or Venetian properties. I selected the Palazzo because it’s newer and I prefer that casino. Further research confirmed I made the right choice as The Palazzo continuously receives better review ratings.

Sunday, January 10 just after noon we drove to valet to try to check-in early (normally check-in is at 3:00pm). As soon as we drove up we were treated like VIP’s, even though we were driving a rented bright blue Ford Focus. The valet personnel were very friendly as several of them greeted us even before we reached the doors. The registration desk was close by the entrance. The line was kind of long but there were plenty of registration staff on hand to move the line quickly. No surprise that the entire process was a breeze and everyone, and I mean everyone, greeted us like royalty. Elevators were across the casino but were directly off the casino floor. This is always a definite plus in my book. Security is located just before the elevators and they request to see your room key before allowing you to pass. This was a minor inconvenience but worth it I guess as there are some shady characters in Vegas.

Our room 47-727 was on the 47th floor overlooking the Northeast side of the valley and the Wynn golf course.

Check out this walk through VIDEO!!

Both my wife and I thought the room was outstanding. The decor and layout gave it a real “homey” feeling and not that of a hotel room. They did a great job dividing the room into sections without using walls. When you first walk in the spacious bathroom was on the left and included a nicely sized and conveniently located LED TV. As you enter the main room the king size bed was on the left and a 40 some inch LED on the right. Separating the bed area from a sitting area was a thigh high bench partition. The sitting area included a comfy wrap around couch with a good sized coffee table with another LED TV sitting on top of the snack station. In the same area was a small table with a couple of chairs and a desk for working which included an Ethernet cable for internet access, telephone, pen and paper, and a multi-function printer with USB hookup for continence.

Both the Palazzo and Venetian are upscale properties in a great area of the strip they are next store to the Wynn and across the street from TI (Treasure Island). Between the two properties are many dinning and shopping choices to choose from and browse.

The Palazzo and Venetian casinos are among my favorite places to gamble on the strip as they offer and wide variety of slot, VP, and table games. Their slot selection is a good mix of new and classic style machines. I always seem to be able to play here and consider it a good value for my dollar.

I rarely have problems with drink service here. Top shelf drinks are available and cocktail waitress ratio to patrons is good. Another plus is I find that their waitresses engaged and very friendly which is always a plus in my book.

Club Grazie is the name of the player’s card. Their comp program is competitive.

Tip: American Casino Guide – 2010 Edition, the annual guide to casinos across the United States, has many valuable coupons in the back of the book. One of the coupons is good for $25 in free slot play at either the Palazzo or Venetian for new club members. Even though I was already a Club Grazie member I inquired about the coupon and the hostess gave it to me AND my wife, that’s $50 just for the asking! Combined with the other coupons we used the cost of the guide was well worth the $13 we paid.

Tip: I am not a “High Roller” when it comes to gambling. But the Palazzo treated me like I was. It’s my understanding that if you cycle $50 through their machines you will start receiving 2-4 night complementary stays. I have received several, very tempting, postcards announcing this promotion since my trip.

In summary, our stay at the Palazzo was fantastic! We didn’t have a single complaint. Because of this we believe the Palazzo deserves 5 out of 5 Scotty Vegas Chips.

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When Heading to Vegas Do You Pack Anything Odd?

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Here is another topic that was brought up on the Trip Advisor Las Vegas forum that caught my attention, “Do you pack anything odd”. People are weird, that goes without saying. But some of these replies are crazy! Now I have my quirks and anyone who knows me can certainly confirm this. But really, bringing your own showerhead to Vegas?? Talk about anal retentive! Most of these are just plain wacky but a few are actually good. Read on and believe me I am not making this stuff up.

“I like to bring my teddy bear. Can’t sleep well without it” – Issues?

“flashlights, coffee makers, immersion heaters, Lysol, sheets, showerheads, pillows, blankets, bottles of booze, water, and bags of snacks.” – They forgot to mention their grocery cart to carry all this shit in to the bridge their sleeping under.

“I forget once every other trip and end up buying $15 chapstick that I hate” – I’ve never seen $15 Chapstick and would certainly never pay that amount. FYI – there are many CVS and Walgreens along the strip to buy $1 Chapstick.

“I bring a couple of clothespins to clip the drapes – they always seem to gap and let the sun in.” – Ahhh.. I find this one useful, I hate when that happens

“I always pack my table top fan. I have to have the noise to go to sleep at night.” – at $25 a bag these days…really?

“I always pack my coffee maker, coffee, creamer, sweet and low and a spoon and cup– and I always have my checked bag opened and searched by TSA as a result of this. I guess it looks weird on the X ray machine. I’ve gotten so used to finding that little “love note” in my bag that I now leave the TSA a little love note of my own thanking them for being so vigilant. You always get more flies with honey than with vinegar!” – In case you’re wondering they do sell coffee in Vegas there’s no reason to go through all this trouble.

“soft side collapsible cooler (can be used for extra bag if we buy too much).” – I love this one! Believe it or not, not all rooms (even the high end ones) have refrigerators.

“coasters – I hate wet furniture” – Of all things? Wet furniture is this persons kryptonite

“garbage bag – for my dirty clothes” – I personally use the plastic laundry bag that’s usually on the hanger in the closet

“crystal light single sticks – for a quick cheap drink. Sometimes the soda machine is a mile down the hall and I hate paying $3 for a soda.” – Sure why not and an instant mixer too

“Get the travel underwear, they dry quick. You only need two pair for any length of trip.” – Speechless…. only the acronym WTF comes to mind!!!

“I always bring a Disney world antenna topper for the rental car. Makes your car much easier to spot at the valet.” – If they can’t see their car at valet this person shouldn’t be driving!

“I have mentioned before a flashlight and a roll of duct tape can be a lifesaver in a hotel fire. the duct tape is to seal the door from smoke.” – This person acts as if hotel fires are a common occurrence… but then again, I hope this guy is in the adjoining room on my next visit

Personally I bring extra socks. You never know when you’ll lose one. 🙂

Have anything odd you would like to share? Feel free to post them in the comments below.

(Remember, keep it clean Coburn!)

Las Vegas Rent A Car Tips

Northbound LVB

For me the only way to get around Las Vegas is by renting a car. It’s a perfect place to store your luggage when arriving early in the day or departing late at night. Checking out off strip properties (Better table odds with low minimums) or visiting local attractions is something I enjoy doing early each day. As a bonus, food is much cheaper off the strip too.

McCarran Airport uses a free shuttle service located on the ground level that takes you to a rent a car center. Signs are posted everywhere making navigation to it easy. Shuttle buses are plentiful and lines move quickly. Once boarded it is only about an eight minute drive to the center.

Tip: I found Dollar rent a car to have the best deals in Vegas. If you have an American Express card they have a standing 10% discount with promo code: AX10. Book early for the best deals and check frequently. If you find a better deal, book it and cancel the old one. I have been very lucky doing this. Also Dollar offers Dollar Express, once you sign up (FREE) it allows you to bypass the often loooong lines at the counter and go directly to the Express booth where your paper work is already waiting. After signing a few times you are off to your car. They will point you in the direction of the car class you reserved and tell you to pick out the one you want.

Tip: Not all cars have power locks and windows (Yes, they still make these). It’s my recommendation that you pick one up with at least power locks. It’s amazing how dependent we’ve become to them. If you don’t it will soon become evident the first time you run back to double check the doors. I made this mistake once and will never again forget to check for power locks.

Regardless of the car rental company you choose, look over the car carefully. I have never had a problem through Dollar but there is always a first time. Remember note on the paper any dents or scratches, and don’t forget the interior.

Tip: I often make note of a few extra in common areas just in case.

Now that you have picked out your car and checked it over, you are ready to go. Your final stop is the exit booth where they will check over your paperwork and lower the bar so you can exit.

Once you exit the center you only need to make two right hand turns to get on Las Vegas Boulevard! When on LVB just head straight (North) to “The Strip”.

Tip: The Famous Las Vegas Sign will be on your left hand side (in median) just outside The Strip. There is parking available so you can take pictures but you can only enter the parking lot from the South bound side. So if interested, loop around and take pictures, as you will see everyone else is at all hours of the day and night.

Returning cars to the center is just as easy as there are plenty of signs to direct you to the rent a car center. I know at dollar you simply drive up where you will be met by a check-in person who scans your paperwork, then car and finally hands you a receipt. Yes it’s that easy! Next, just make your way to the shuttle bus that will take you to your airport terminal.

Tip: Before leaving remember to verify amount charged with amount quoted. On my last trip they forgot to apply a discount. Hey $15 bucks is $15 bucks! I simply went to the return counter where the adjustment was quickly applied pain free.

Dang! This was supposed to be a short and quick post… Sorry I wanted to make sure I covered everything.

One last Tip: If you have a GPS bring it and don’t forget to update it before you leave. The rental companies charge $9.00 or more per day to rent one. Trust me a GPS is gold when driving around Vegas.