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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
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Eats from our January 2016 Trip – The Buffet Yard House Cravings Feast of not so Grand Buffet

LasVegasFood

Yard House – Located near the High Roller observation wheel at The Linq is Yard House. Nice looking place with good service and 100 beers on tap plus good, very reasonably priced, eats… do I need to say more? Sure I do! If the already mentioned didn’t spark an interest than these tips should:

Tip: GREAT Lunch Specials and Happy Hour (M-F, 3-6)

Tip: The Club Sandwich is da bomb! Seriously large sharable dinner portion.

Mirage’s Cravings Buffet Cravings is a solid buffet option with several themed stations with a variety of consistently good food options. Since we often stay at The Mirage Casino Hotel we’ve visited this buffet probably more than any other.

Tip: Buffet includes unlimited draft beer (Budweiser and Goose Island IPA) and house wine (a red and white)

Tip: Active military receives BOGO or 50% off

Excalibur’s The Buffet – If in the neighborhood and hungry for a buffet that won’t break the budget consider The Buffet at Excalibur. This recently upgraded buffet is well appointed with the usual buffet fare. Taste and selection is pretty good and the dessert area has a crepe station that I always look forward to.

Red Rock’s Feast Buffet – Located 30 minutes west of the strip in the Red Rock Casino is the Feast Buffet. And a feast it is!! This is one tasty, well appointed, clean buffet. I can’t think of one thing that didn’t taste good. We went for lunch and it was very crowded but service and food item availability surprisingly excellent!

Tip: Excellent weekday pricing (with players card), Breakfast under $7.50, Lunch $9, Dinner $14

Tip: Same quality and pricing can be found at Green Valley Ranch which is also a Stations Casino

MGM (not so) Grand Buffet – Saving the worst for last, you’re welcome. Wow, what a disappointment this buffet was. Went for dinner at around 5pm ($60, $30 each) and lunch was still being served. Talked to the manager as he happened to walk by. He admitted that the kitchen was slow transitioning (lunch ended at 3!) to dinner. I told him food dishes were empty and the place was a mess, and he agreed! Ironically there was plenty of cheap pizza coming out of the kitchen. No Thanks, refund please.

Tip: If something isn’t right, say something. Vegas usually makes things right without hassle

The manager said a buffet remodel is underway and asked us to give them a second chance after completion. Since I’ve had good experiences with the Grand Buffet in the past, I just might do that, but not until the remodel is complete.

 

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“Welcome to the Mirage Mr. Pappageorgio”, she’s a beaut!

The Mirage is, in my opinion, one of the best value to benefit resort options available on the Las Vegas strip. Located just
Mirage1__14032north of mid-strip, on the west side of the street, between Caesars Palace and Treasure Island (TI) sits the “home” of Clark Griswold’s Vegas Vacation (Movie, 1997).

The Mirage is all good, except for their whopping $32.50 per night resort fee! (as of 3/2015) But rooms rates during the week range from $50 – $70 plus the report fee and tax. Besides the great location and awesome palm tree lined pool the rooms are very well appointed. I find the bed and linens rival higher end properties. Mirage3_14032

The Casino itself is another favorite of mine. I love to play here because I typically do well and drink service is pretty fast and friendly. Plus the sportsbook is front center and large enough to handle a crowd.

The property has several good food choices (BLT Burger, Carnegie Delicatessen, and California Pizza Kitchen amongst others) and Cravings Buffet (very good). Mirage Pool 1

 

Tip: McDonald’s, Panda Express, and chipotle is just across the street for reasonably priced eats.

Tip: The Mirage is the home of the daily volcano eruption (my video), a FREE must see attraction!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

So much positive to say about the Mirage, just do yourself a favor and stay a night and experience it for yourself.

(Stayed 1/2015 room 14-032)

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

The Volcano at Mirage Resort Hotel and Casino


Mirage Volcano

Originally uploaded by scottyvegas

First a little history, the volcano at the Mirage first opened in 1989, then in 1996 water, lighting, and sound effects were added. Most recently the Volcano has gone through a complete redesign at a tune of 25 Million! It reopened in December of 2008.

The Volcano and accompanying lagoon has always been a popular attraction with tourists. And for good reason:

• It’s FREE
• It is located right on the strip in front of the Mirage

With this said there should be no reason why you wouldn’t check it out.

On our January, 2010 trip we were walking down the strip when we remembered that we haven’t seen the new redesigned volcano yet. We looked at the time; it was 8:32 so we had almost a half hour wait. Because it was our last full night in Vegas we questioned whether to wait and see it or not. Well we stayed and glad we did. Check out the video and see for yourself why:

Now the video can only show so much you really need to see and experience it for yourself. The music is powerful and timed perfectly with the erupting fireballs, some reaching 12 feet in the air, and the heat from the eruption can be felt against your skin. Since it was in the 40’s it felt good, probably not so much in the summer heat.

  • The Volcano erupts nightly every hour on the hour from dusk to 11 p.m.

Verdict: The Volcano is a worthwhile attraction and merits your valuable Vegas time. It’s Free and right on the strip so I am giving it 4 out of 5 chips!