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    Viva Las Vegas!!May 12th, 2016
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    • • 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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Criss Angel – Don’t Be”LIE”ve this Cirque du Soleil LIE

Don’t Be”LIE”ve this Cirque du Soleil LIE. This show is NOT an “illusion spectacular” nor are there 40 “mind-blowing illusions”. This was a slow and boring let down. I’ve seen KA, Mystere, Zarkana, and Zumanity, I would, and have recommended each one of these. If you want to see Criss Angel save your money instead go to youtube and watch his video’s, then read his Wiki page because that’s what you will see at the show…. Seriously!

UntitledThis “fast paced” show was horribly slow. The I’m so cool Criss brings a 16 year old on stage, and then has an older woman tease the kid, so Criss can make “jokes” at his expense. This show was extremely awkward. It left many people looking around in disbelief. To be fair, some people, but very few, did seem to enjoy this miserable show. I think the overwhelming majority were to stun at the only illusion Criss and Cirque managed to pull off was to make the money paid for this show disappear.

This show stung so bad that we won’t be attending another Cirque du Soleil show doing our next Vegas trip. We decided instead to explore other Vegas offerings for a while. Listen to the reviews and pass on this show!

El Segundo Sol @ Fashion Show Mall

El Segundo Sol Tequila and margarita bar located at the end of the Fashion Show Mall  rfashion showight across from the Wynn is a personal favorite of ours. The food is very good, and the happy hours specials keep us returning when in town. WP_20141006_019

Belly up to a bar table, order some endless chips and salsa and a street taco or two AND don’t forget the sangria (DELICIOUS!)

 

Tip: Certificate’s are available at Restaurant.com, they go out of stock fast!

Crown and Aces

Crown and Anchor British Pub just off the strip on Tropicana was a nice break from the Vegas Strip glitz and glamor. Our group of three enjoyed the food and beer selection. If I was a local I could see myself frequenting this Pub. It’s too far to walk from the strip and probably not worth the price of a cab but if you rent a car while in town it’s something to consider.

Tip: Check their website for specials or buy a certificate at Restaurant.com for additional savings

January 2014 Trip – Reviewed – Old and New Again

With our January 24, 2014 Vegas trip fast approaching I can’t help but find myself getting excited. Leading up to each trip I always try to loosely plan out things I want to see and do. Here’s what I have planned this time around, I guess you could call it, old and new again.

O’Sheas

osheas

The new O’Sheas, after being closed for over a year and a half it has reopened and from the sound of it better than ever. I’m really looking forward to drinking an Irish beer in this dark stained wood casino.

Flamingo

For this trip our new hotel to stay at is the Flamingo, yeah I’ve wrote bad things about this hotel in the past but this time around I have high hopes for their newly updated FAB rooms. They look great from the pictures and for the price at $26 per night just couldn’t be beat. Well not so fast, they now add an $18/night resort fee but overall still a FABulous deal.

Last time we stopped in the Flamingo it was absolutely hopping with a surprisingly younger crowd. Maybe it’s the Jimmy Buffet “casino” that’s doing it, whatever it is I’m looking forward to staying and playing here.

Downtown: Downtown Grand and Container Park

fabulous-downtown-las-vegasThe Downtown Grand  opened in late 2013, noted as the first new hotel to open downtown in 30 years, this off Fremont Street, former part Lady Luck Casino looks great from the pictures. On paper this place sounds like a winner though early reviews suggest otherwise. From what I’ve read gaming is less than stellar with poor video poker and black jack odds and slots tighter than a hungry boa constrictor, never the less I am eager to see for myself.

Downtown Container Park opened in November 2013, personally I’m not a shopper or remotely interested in shopping but this unique idea sparks my curiosity enough to go check it out. Located on Fremont Street, kiddy corner from El Cortez Hotel Casino, is the new 34 outlet style mall made up of all steel prefab shipping containers, some even stacked three tall.

To be honest I’ve never been a fan of downtown, but I’m starting to have a change of heart. With so many improvements going on, better video poker odds and lower table game minimums than the strip plus an overall fun atmosphere I foresee myself spending more time in this forming, much improved, playground.

Cirque du Soleil

ZumanityShow selection for this trip was an easy one, we are seeing Zumanity at New York New York. Simply could not pass up the fantastic deal we got from MyVegas.com, $53 (tax included) + 4k in MyVegas points for TWO tickets. Zumanity will be our 4th Cirque show and I’m sure it won’t disappoint.

Tip: Have a Facebook account? Play MyVegas.com and earn REAL points

We had a GREAT trip, here are my REVIEWS

Zumanity

Best Cirque du Soleil show ever? No, but it was truly enjoyable. I’ve seen KA, Mystere, and Zarkana, all of these share commonality. Zumanity the edgy side of Cirque is well… that. Unlike other Cirque shows where sitting a little farther back is better, Zumanity is intimate so sitting closer is a plus. Nudity, profanity, sexuality, yes all here. In bad taste? Well that’s subjective. Sitting in the front row was an elderly (late 70’s/early 80’s) couple. I kind of watched them to see their reaction and from what I saw they held hands, laughed, and enjoyed the show along with everyone else.  

If you’re easily offended or prudish choose another Cirque show otherwise buy a ticket and enjoy the show.

Tips: The stage was small as was the theater itself. The best seats are definitely surrounding the stage. Get a drink before you enter the theater, but ask for it in a cup, yes they let you bring it in.

Click to EXPAND FULL REVIEW

East Side Cannery, a Review

This was an interesting experience, I’m glad I stayed here but I’m not certain I’ll return. You see our flight was scheduled to arrive in Las Vegas at night 11pm (2pm Detroit time). Part because I’m frugal and part because I like to experience different Las Vegas Casino Hotels I decided to stay at the Eastside Cannery (A 16 story hotel containing 307 rooms ranging in size from 450 to 900 sq ft) for the first night of our trip. Since we usually take a later flight into Vegas I like staying at a cheaper off strip hotel for that first night. While looking where to stay I saw East Side Cannery had $39 deluxe rooms with a $10 off promotion making the room just $29 per night plus tax and NO RESORT FEES! After consulting with my wife, who had no issues with it, I booked the Cannery.

East Side Cannery is located on Boulder highway next door to Sam’s Town Hotel/Casino and Boulder Station Hotel/Casino is down the street a little further. According to slot statistics Boulder Highway is known to have some of the loosest slots in Las Vegas, Video Poker pay tables are favorable and table games have low minimums.

When we arrived at the hotel it was about midnight so check-in was a breeze. We then headed straight for the room. The elevators were close to the front desk and right off the casino floor. Unlike strip hotels where elevators and hallways always seem to have activity the Cannery was a ghost town. We opened the door to a surprisingly very nice room. We found the room better than the website description:

Standard Queen at 450 sq. ft. is well above standard. Enjoy a plush pillowtop mattress, down pillows and 400 thread count sheets. 42inch plasma TV, writing desk, easy chair and convenient in room refrigerator will make your stay easy.

After admiring our room we quickly dropped off our bags and headed down to the casino floor for a couple of drinks and a little gaming action before going to bed. Being an off strip property it was evident that the majority of the casino’s patrons, though few in numbers, were made up of locals. Security seemed a little heavy for the number of patrons and they definitely were keeping an close eye on a few sketchy looking characters. Though we felt safe this scenario gave us the “keep your heads up” kind of feeling.

The 65,000 square foot casino offered a decent variety of slot machines, video poker, and table games. I recall that penny machines dominated the casino floor. I was surprised to see a band playing in the casinos Marilyn’s Lounge given the number of patrons. Waitress service was extremely slow and when present was served with a bit of attitude. The anticipated gaming action and drink service was an overall disappointment. So off we went through the deserted hallways to our room.

We woke early the next morning and got some breakfast downstairs at Snaps Restaurant. We used a buy one, get one coupon that we received upon check-in. Afterword’s we packed up and checked out. The lady who assisted us had some problems doing this. She called over someone else who assisted her. I don’t know what happened but after I got home and was reviewing my Credit Card statement I noticed they completely refunded our night stay!

After each hotel stay my wife and I like to discuss whether or not we would stay there again, we both said we would pass on the Cannery. Though the room and price was excellent, the casino was just ok. So with all the other hotel/casino options available in Las Vegas I think I will continue to try something new.

Check out these other related posts:

Bill’s Gambling Hall and Saloon Review… I’m serious!

Getting an awesome Las Vegas hotel deal? Don’t forget about the resort fees!

Review: Palazzo Resort Hotel and Casino

Tips on how to find the lowest hotel rates in Las Vegas

Review: Palace Station Hotel and Casino

Bill’s Gambling Hall and Saloon Review… I’m serious!

After receiving an email from Caesar’s Entertainment announcing hot deals across all their Las Vegas Properties I quickly booked four nights at Harrah’s for $228. The price was right, location good, and Trip Advisor reviews were decent. But after reading several Harrah’s reviews I noticed many people mentioned favorably about Bill’s Gambling Hall and Saloon So off I went to read reviews about Bill’s and surprisingly they were more favorable than Harrah’s and to top it all off the “hot deal” total price for four nights including a Saturday and taxes came to $165! Not one to pass up a screaming deal I booked Bill’s for the four nights and requested a non-smoking Bellagio fountain view room. Now I have two hotel reservations and one wife to convince Bill’s is the place for us.

Leading up to our trip I must have had the following conversation at least 2 dozen times.

Person: So you’re going to Vegas, where you staying?
Me: Bill’s Gambling Hall and Saloon
Person: Bill’s? Off Strip?
Me: Noooo, it’s right there on the strip, corner of Flamingo between Bally’s and the Flamingo. You know it’s the former Barberry Coast Hotel and Casino?
Person: Oh… you’re staying there?
Me: Yes, actually it gets great reviews. The rooms are a little older but they’re supposed to be really clean. It’s in a great location and you’re supposed to be able to get to the strip from any room in about 5 minutes.
Person: (Doubtful).. hmmmmm… with head nod
Me: I got a great deal, four nights including a Saturday for under $170 taxes included plus no resort fees.
Person: Ohh Okay, have a good time
Me: Yeah, I will let you know how it turns out

I must say I was a little apprehensive myself right before we left if I made the right decision to choose Bill’s. I definitely felt the uncertainly from my wife. In fact I frequently checked reviews at Trip Advisor for reassurance.

With adrenaline running through my veins I had a good feeling about Bill’s as we approached. Parking was a breeze as you enter the parking garage just off the strip on Flamingo Dr. It’s very easy to get in and out from all directions. There were plenty of spots near the elevator which was nice. The garage is older but very clean and there was never any traffic.

We approached the small registration desk which is located in the back of the casino. The host said you must be the ScottyVegas’, I said Yes, and she said, we were her last guests to check in for the night. I inquired about my reservation preferences and she said unfortunately we had a smoking room on the Flamingo hotel side and that was the last available room. She said to call the desk in the morning and they will accommodate our request. Not what you want to hear when you’re already apprehensive about a hotel.

Anyway, tired but eager to hit the strip, we quickly headed to our room on the 3rd floor. The room was large and roomy with a plasma TV hanging on the wall, and thankfully not as smoky as I feared it would be.

Tip: All rooms on the 3rd floor at Bill’s are smoking rooms, Floors 1 & 2 are non-smoking

The next morning I called and we swapped rooms, this time our request was honored for a non-smoking, Bellagio Fountain View room. Both rooms were very clean however the room décor was a bit dated with a western style feel to it. Each bathroom had a stained glass window you could open from the tub/shower. I absolutely loved this and thought it was the best feature of the room, it added a ton of character. It was great taking a shower with the window slightly opened and hearing the sounds of the strip including music from the dancing Bellagio fountains.

Like the reviews I read said, you literally can get to the strip from any room in the hotel in about 5 minutes. Try this at any of the mega resorts.

Entertainment

The casino might be dated and feel like it belongs downtown but it’s definitely NOT dull. The patron demographics varied widely but everyone seemed to be having a great time. The table games were packed nightly with plenty of cheers. The casino stage had nightly entertainment with either karaoke or bands, both drew a crowd of on lookers and fun was had my all.

You should also know this is the home of Big Elvis and from what I hear a great FREE act performed Mondays through Fridays at 3, 5 and 6:30 p.m. right there on Bill’s casino stage. Don’t know how we did it but we failed to see this highly rated popular show!

As far as gaming goes the casino offers a decent variety of slot and video poker games of all monetary denominations. We did not play extensively here. But when I did play, usually when I was waiting for my wife, I had fun and won some money playing Video Poker.

Tip: Bill’s is a Non-Total Rewards casino partner of Caesars Entertainment. So in other words they maintain their own independent players club.

Dining

The hotel has several dining options to choose from. However, we only visited one, Victorian Café and that was for the after 11:00pm steak and eggs breakfast special for $5.99. Let me tell you this special rocked, especially after a long evening of drinks and gaming action.

Note: It looks like the times and prices have changed a bit from when we visited. Here is updated information taken directly from their website “3 egg breakfast for only $4.99 Midnight to 8am and don’t miss our Steak and Eggs Special for $8.99 served from midnight to 8a.m.” Still not a bad deal.

Location

Like I said before the location is the best! If you walk out the door to your right you can easily reach the Wynn properties without much effort. Turn left and Planet Hollywood and City Center is just a short walk. Bill’s sits right on the corner so crossover bridges are right there for you to cross Las Vegas Blvd or Flamingo. Did I mention this was the perfect location?

SPA Services, Exercise and Pool

Looking for prime SPA services or a good workout before your day? If so, then don’t stay here. Bill’s does not offer such services. Bill’s does not have a pool either however, you do get full access to the highly rated Flamingo pool, so not all is lost.

The Bottom Line

If you are new to Vegas, looking to impress or want to be pampered by all the amenities of the mega resorts, Bill’s is not the place for you. If its value you seek or just need a good room to serve as a base for your Vegas Adventure then you should put Bill’s Gambling Hall and Casino towards the top of the list of places to consider.

2011 American Casino Guide and Coupon Book

Here’s a guide no casino enthusiast should be without! It’s loaded with information and COUPONS!! In fact, the cost of the book (under $13 at Amazon) is easily recouped by simply using a coupon or two. On our last trip we used MANY and saved tons. For Example:

  • $25 in FREE slot play at Venetian/Palazzo
  • $10 in FREE slot play for all slot club members at Hard Rock
  • Many table game match plays
  • Lots of food discount coupons
  • 2-for-1 cocktail and VIP entry to V Bar (Venetian)

See the entire coupon list yourself by clicking here.

The book also contains information on just about every casino in the nation like number of rooms, casino size, restaurants, Buffet Prices, and so much more.

Interested? If so, please purchase by clinking here, you pay the same price I make a few cents, we both win! Thank you in advance – ScottyVegas


Trump Plaza Atlantic City Review

Our first Atlantic City trip in May of 2010 left us with a favorable opinion of the City. So when we received the November Edition of the monthly Trump Plaza newsletter announcing among other things a complementary two night stay, we decided it was time to head back for another quick one night, two day trip. I called and reserved the room for one night, November 7, 2010.

When we arrived it was only 9:30am. We attempted to check in but the host said we would have to wait until checkout which is 11:00am. We checked our bags with the hotel’s concierge and proceeded to hit the casino floor.

The Plaza isn’t a large casino but offers a decent variety of slots, video poker and table games. On our last trip the plaza seemed to give me more play for my dollar so I was eager to drop some coin and play a few slots. During the time we were there Trump was offering Black Jack minimums of $1.00 but with a .25 cent fee per hand! First time I saw this little trick but regardless of the increased house advantage the tables where filled. I really enjoy playing in this casino the waitress service is fantastic (as is most of the casinos in AC), the drinks are tasty and they play some good music at a volume that is just right.

We came back around noon and quickly checked in. The hotel clerk said she got us a nice ocean front room in the east tower room 882. The elevators were just a short walk from the casino floor. Access to the rooms is very secure as there’s a security guard that checks your card just before you need to swipe it to go through doors that lead to the elevators. Once in the elevator you need to insert your card in the elevator before it allows you to press your floor button. Anyway our room was just off the elevator which was convenient.

The room had two double beds and was average in size. I thought from some pictures I’ve seen and the general decor of all the trump properties that the color gold would be everywhere making it all very gaudy.  Though there was some, everything was nicely decorated. The entire room was clean and it was very comfortable. The TV was your basic tube style but had a good selection of channels.  The best part of the room was its view! Staying on the eighth floor offered some great views of the Ocean and some of the boardwalk. I enjoyed chilling out on the bed watching the wave’s role in.

We tried the Plaza buffet, it was small with limited selection but what I had was tasty.

Tip: When you get a players card they give you a coupon book that has a buy 1 get 1 buffet coupon. Even if you already have a card, which I already did, they gave me one when I asked.

The cost of the buffet dinner was $18 dollars, so not bad with the coupon.

From what I have seen the plaza’s rates are very reasonable throughout the weekdays but shoot way up for Friday and Saturday nights this seems to be the case throughout the  Fall, Winter and early spring months. As the weather warms the rates increase throughout the summer regardless of day.  Next to the Plaza (just a short walk) is the Tropicana and on the other side is Caesar’s Palace (very close) which connects directly to Wild Wild West and Bally’s casinos.

Tip: It appears that room comps are very easy to get for the non-summer months as I have received them monthly now and I am a very low roller.

All the employees we talked to at the Plaza were very friendly and eager to help.  Our overall Plaza experience was very positive and would certainly stay there again. With all this said I easily give The Trump Plaza Atlantic City three out of five chips.

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.

Pawn Stars in Las Vegas?

Now in its second season Pawn Stars is The History Channels reality based show that marries the Antiques Roadshow, with history of antiques and their values, and Orange County Choppers, macho personalities and a doofus (sorry Chumlee) for comic relief.

The format of the show is simple, people bring in various items to sell or pawn. Experts are usually brought in to inspect the item for authenticity, give a history lesson, and place a value on it. Once that’s done the shop employee haggles with the sometimes quirky seller over price. Much like OCC the personalities of the shop employees are interwoven into secondary plots collectively making for a fairly interesting and entertaining show.

The Pawn shop is an actual business that’s been in operation for the last 26 years called Gold and Silver Pawnshop. It’s located right on North Las Vegas Boulevard, about five blocks south the Fremont Experience on the East side of the street.

Gold & Silver Pawn Shop
713 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89101 – (702) 385-7912

During our January 7 -12 trip I decided to check it out. It was around 10am that Friday morning when I talked my wife into going. I thought there would be a good chance that they might be filming since it was right after the holidays, their second season just started, and it was a weekday. Sure enough as we walked in there was a doorman you said “we are filming, feel free to look around but do not look at the camera”. So we looked around and slowly migrated in-line with the camera view. Some guy was selling/pawning a painting or something. It was hard to tell as I was trying to get on camera without looking directly in that direction. I was just getting my pose on when they stopped to take a break. We saw all the regular show “characters” except Corey. These guys are just everyday people with a sweet gig, which I believe adds to the appeal of this show.

So if you are looking for a free diversion from gambling or have something to pawn or sell, stop by and check it out. Oh and don’t forget to mention ScottyVegas.com for a special surprise.

By the way, in the Detroit area Pawn Stars airs on Monday nights at 10:00pm EST on the History Channel. Check your local listings for channel and time in your area.