My Vegas trip report (1 Viewer)

p5woody

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Las Vegas Trip June 28th - July 6th
This is my lame Vegas trip report - no pictures yet, might try to post some later.

A little background. Traveling with my family (Wife, son 21, and daughter 18). I won a free trip to Vegas and buy-in to WSOP $1000 event. First family vacation with all 4 of us in 5+ years. Somehow a free poker trip turned into a family vacation (That is not a bad thing). While in Vegas my wife celebrated a birthday and we celebrated our 26th anniversary. So if your here for the poker you can stop reading.

If you have any questions or want more details, just ask.

Day 1 (Wed) - Flight landed in Vegas 3PM, picked up rental car from Advantage. Short delay with Advantage, first car check engine light was on. We were given a 2nd car but this one smelled like smoke (wife and daughter are very sensitive to smoke) so this was a no go. 3rd car was good and we were headed to downtown - Fremont street.

First time to Vegas for the kids, We stayed at the Plaza, nice basic hotel, room was clean, great location, and hotel was old as expected. I would definitely stay there again for one night. We went to the California Casino for their $9.99 prime rib dinner. It was a great deal well worth the $10. We then walked Fremont street, this was interesting and eye opening to say the least. (FYI - with wife and daughter at my side, no pictures were taken.)

Day 2 (Thurs) - The next morning we checked out of the Plaza and went back to California for breakfast, we missed the buffet it closed at 11am (I think) but breakfast was still good and cheap. We moved to the Flamingo for a 3 night stay. This was courtesy of a Wyndam timeshare package where we had to listen to a 2 hr presentation (more on that later). We knew what we were getting into when we signed up, not fun but it covered 3 nights lodging including a Friday and Saturday, the most expensive nights on the strip.

The Flamingo room was very nice, definitely nicer then the Plaza. Great Location on the strip and pool area was also very good. Only issue was more than half the pool area is over 21 and with an 18 year old we were stuck at the kiddy pool. Not a big hang out at the pool kind of family so this was okay. We went to the Aria for their seafood buffet, this was the best buffet we had in Vegas. It isn't cheap ($40), but we had 2 myvegas 2-for-1 deals, so for half price it was well worth it. Walked the strip and called it a night.

Day 3 (Fri) - We booked our Wyndam timeshare presentation, it went as expected. Two hour presentation turned into 3 and lots of high pressure. They served us a basic breakfast, that is all I have to say about that. Back to the pool to just hang out for a few hours before the evening activities. That evening we had tickets to the Jeff Dunham ventriloquist/comedian show at Caesars. We bought a package show deal with a pre-show dinner at Planet Hollywood. We enjoyed the dinner and show. He was very funny, the whole family really enjoyed it. Walked Caesars and the strip working our way back to the room.

Day 4 (Sat) - We scheduled an all day tour of the Grand Canyon. We met the shuttle outside the Flamingo at 9:45 AM and returned around 5:45 PM. We booked the Grand Voyager tour (Plane/Helicopter/Boat/Bus) through Papillon. This was the highlight of the trip for our family. It wasn't cheap but it was well worth it. When we returned from the Canyon, we had them drop us off at Treasure Island because we had a groupon for Senor Frogs. We paid $4 for $40 dollars worth of food. The food was good but not really a family place, more of a bar. Again we knew this and I am glad we did it. Place is geared for the younger crowd. Walked back from there, it was a long day so we crashed in the room.

More...
 
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p5woody

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Day 5 (Sun) - Time to move to the RIO because WSOP event 63 that I was playing in started on Monday. After checking out, we walked to Prime Burger in the Venetian for breakfast. Another groupon, this time was spent $1.20 for $40 worth of food. Breakfast was very basic, having the groupon barely made it worth it. It wasn't bad, just nothing better then basic breakfast. It would have been way overpriced without the discount.

We arrived at RIO around 1:30 PM and found out we could not get a room until 3PM unless we wanted to pay extra. We waited until 3, we could then check in but they could not give a us a room with two queen beds and a strip view like we booked. They said we would have to wait until 4, we were very nice but asked if there was anything they could do. After a couple of minutes of searching they magically found one for us. The room was large but the furniture has seen better days, they were old and worn.

Once we got settled and relaxed a little, we drove over to Mandalay Bay for the Michael Jackson - ONE show. We had a pizza from their food court, which was very good. The show was amazing, one of the best shows I have seen in Vegas. We made it back to our room just in time for Fourth of July Fireworks. We had a great view of Caesars from our room. We were able to sit in our room and enjoy the fireworks.

Day 6 (Mon) - The day I have been waiting for WSOP Event 63. I woke up early as usual, worked out, then wife and I walked over to the Gold Coast for there $8 breakfast buffet with players card (nothing overly fancy, just good food for a good price). I took my shot at poker, (you can read the details here - https://www.pokerchipforum.com/threads/p5woody-plays-wsop-event-63.21510/#post-397556). Bottom line lasted for 3+ hours and then was done. After recovering from my poor showing, met up with the family. we walked over to the Gold Coast to eat at their $14 buffet. Best buffet deal I have found in Vegas (again nothing overly fancy, just good food for a good price).

After dinner went to drive indoor go-karts. We arrived at 7:30, they were open until 10pm. We were told they sold out for the night and we should come back tomorrow when they open. We asked if we could make reservations, and they said sorry we don't take reservations. We had pre-purchased a groupon for 8 races(2 x 4), so we had no choice but return the next day. Wife and son did a little drinking and slot play while my daughter and I just hung out and relaxed for the rest of the night.

Day 7 (Tues) - Again woke up early worked out and went back to the Gold Coast for breakfast. $5 for Starbucks coffee or $8 for a full breakfast with coffee, easy choice. Checked out of the RIO because we were moving to Mandalay Bay for the last two nights of our stay. Arrived at the indoor Go-karts at 11:45, they opened at 11:30 and were told the place was reserved and the next available race was after 3 PM. Wife almost lost it at this point, we calmed her down and moved on to Mandalay Bay our next stop of our trip.

We made it to Mandalay Bay and while checking in my wife asked if they had any discount tickets to the Shark Reef. They did not, however after talking nicely with the check-in lady she gave us two free tickets, so we tipped her for her generosity. This was the nicest room out of the 4 we stayed at in Vegas Wife and kids went to the Shark Reef , I stayed behind to catch up on a few things like emails and forum post. They seemed to like the Shark Reef, they were glad they went. After the Shark Reef, we went to Camelot Steakhouse for a nice dinner. Total bill was 240+tip, we had a $100 myvegas coupon and we used $100 dollars from our timeshare presentation gift. Food was very good, nice to have a well cooked family dinner.

(Note: We were there July 5th and 6th, people started lining up to use the pool at 7 AM. It opened at 8 AM, by this time the line was extremely long. I know this because I was up early running the 1/2 mile jogging trail. Needless to say the pool area was packed.)

Day 8 (Weds) - We decided to try to indoor go-karts one more time. Again we arrived shortly after they opened, said it would be a 1-hour wait, so we decided to wait. It actually took almost 2 hours, they were having some issues with their cars over heating. Once we got to drive it was a lot of fun, if we had not pre-purchased the races we would not have gone back, but we are glad we did it. After driving the go-karts, we drove out to the Hoover dam (45 min). It was very hot the car said it was 114, so we didn't stay long. The Hoover dam is still interesting and glad we went.

After returning we walked over to the MGM Grand to eat at their buffet. Yep you guessed it we had 2 more myvegas coupons to get 2-for-1 deal, so again half price. Buffet was very good just not as good as Aria's Buffet. After eating we did a little shopping on the strip for souvenirs and then walked over to Xterious escape room. First time doing an escape room. It was interesting but we sucked. We needed a few clues to help us get out. Now that I understand how they work a little better I am sure we would do better the next time. We got out in just over an hour.

Day 9 (Thurs) - All good things must come to an end, we are heading home. We checked out of our room and then went to Mandalay Bay Buffet, yep once again 2 myvegas coupons. The food was good but the layout was horrible, we had to stand in one long line. I would not go back to this buffet. We spent 3/4 of our time standing in line, somebody should be fired. After eating we were off to the airport, returned the car no problem and was back home in PA around Midnight.


MYVEGAS -
Aria dinner buffet - 2 coupons each 2-for-1
MGM Grand dinner buffet - 2 coupons each 2-for-1
Mandalay Bay breakfast/lunch buffet - 2 coupons each 2-for-1
Mandalay Bay Hotel room - 2 free nights
Camelot Steakhouse (Excalibur) - $100 off $200

Groupon -
Indoor go-karts
Xterious escape room
Senor Frog - $40 food
Prime Burger - $40 food
 
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Wow! Thanks a lot for the trip report! Very generous of you to pass along so much detail. I love that your wife REALLY wanted to race those go- carts! :ROFL: :ROFLMAO::mad::cool:
 

Wils

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Love trip reports. I find them incredibly evocative and insightful. I hope one day to get to Vegas myself, but until then, these keep me going.

Great stuff.
 

Poker Zombie

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First time to Vegas for the kids, We stayed at the Plaza, nice basic hotel, room was clean, great location, and hotel was old as expected. I would definitely stay there again for one night.

100% agree with the Plaza assessment. It's old, but they've been trying hard lately. Fun fact: The furniture was bought for the Fountain Bleu. When it was determined it would never open, the Plaza got it all for a song. If you thought the furnishing were kinda nice for a low-dollar hotel - that's why.

We booked our Wyndam timeshare presentation, it went as expected. Two hour presentation turned into 3 and lots of high pressure.

I think everyone should do a timeshare presentation at least once in their life. When you are done, you'll like your job a little more, because you know someone else's job sucks more (unless of course, your job is selling timeshares). Just make sure that the offer is worth it, because like yours, my 2 hours was more like 3.

We went to the Aria for their seafood buffet, this was the best buffet we had in Vegas. It isn't cheap ($40), but we had 2 myvegas 2-for-1 deals

First of multiple MyVegas hits, very nice. I'm not a slot player, but this game is worth the time to log in daily, if only for the free spin and cleaning the strip. The values have dropped over the last 5 years, but something for nothing is always +EV.

We decided to try to indoor go-karts one more time. Again we arrived shortly after they opened, said it would be a 1-hour wait, so we decided to wait. It actually took almost 2 hours, they were having some issues with their cars over heating.

Did you do Fast Lap or Pole Position? This has been on my radar for a number of years, but has always gotten bumped (Vegas offers so much, and there is so little time). About how long were the races? Were there ample passing/racing opportunities, or was it basically driving fast?
 

p5woody

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Did you do Fast Lap or Pole Position? This has been on my radar for a number of years, but has always gotten bumped (Vegas offers so much, and there is so little time). About how long were the races? Were there ample passing/racing opportunities, or was it basically driving fast?

Fast Lap - each race was 10 minutes about 15 laps. Walking in off the street price was $26/race, from groupon we got 8 races for $54. They were only racing 4 cars at the one time, but it worked for our family. Not a lot of real passing opportunities and we had some problems with the cars. The 2nd race they asked who liked to go fast and not let off the gas around the corners, this was the only way the car would continue to run. So I took the car and slid around the corners using the brake at full throttle, it was a lot of fun but I did stall it once. I have a little dirt track racing in my blood, father and brother both drove and would get to warm up the car when I was younger.

Bottom line 8 races for $54 was a great deal but I don't think it would be worth it for full price. It was very fun when the cars were running. I would check out Pole Position, not sure how they compare. Also they don't take reservation so make sure you have time to wait if you go. It took us 3 tries and we still had to wait 2 hours.
I hope this helps.
 

p5woody

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First of multiple MyVegas hits, very nice. I'm not a slot player, but this game is worth the time to log in daily, if only for the free spin and cleaning the strip. The values have dropped over the last 5 years, but something for nothing is always +EV.

Yea, MyVegas is worth the 5 minutes a day I spend on it. I used it 4 years ago when we went to vegas. Agreed the rewards are not as good as they once were, but like you said can't really complain when you get something for free.
 

p5woody

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I think everyone should do a timeshare presentation at least once in their life. When you are done, you'll like your job a little more, because you know someone else's job sucks more (unless of course, your job is selling timeshares). Just make sure that the offer is worth it, because like yours, my 2 hours was more like 3.

Yea I would hate my life if I had to sell timeshares. We received 3 nights accommodation for $149, free breakfast, and a $100 american express card when we were done. Still had to pay resort fees and parking, but since we used it for a Friday and Saturday night it saved us some money. We do these every few years, never plan on buying just want the free stuff. Just make sure you know what your getting into, they always run long and they do make it sound good.
 

p5woody

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If I was ranking the hotels we stayed at
1) Flamingo - Best location, nice room, air conditioner a little loud, over 21 pool this could be good or bad depending
2) Mandalay Bay - Best room and pool, but was the most crowded and is on the end of the strip
3) tie between RIO and The Plaza both off the strip and would definitely stay there again if I want to stay in Fremont area or play WSOP
 

Steverino

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Nice trip report. Staying at the Rio is a must if you play the WSOP. It's so much easier just heading upstairs after playing all day. MyVegas is a great thing. I don't understand how they can keep offering all those freebies, but when we go to Vegas we always stock up on free stuff. Another tip - if you have a total rewards credit card, and maintain platinum status, you don't have to pay the resort fees and at least at the Rio, there is a Platinum check in area where you skip the lines and check in earlier.
 

Rhodeman77

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Nice trip report. Staying at the Rio is a must if you play the WSOP. It's so much easier just heading upstairs after playing all day. MyVegas is a great thing. I don't understand how they can keep offering all those freebies, but when we go to Vegas we always stock up on free stuff. Another tip - if you have a total rewards credit card, and maintain platinum status, you don't have to pay the resort fees and at least at the Rio, there is a Platinum check in area where you skip the lines and check in earlier.

It is Diamond level that they will waive the resort fee for. I wish it was platinum.
 

Steverino

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It is Diamond level that they will waive the resort fee for. I wish it was platinum.
You could be right. Last time I was in Vegas was two years ago, but I didn't pay the resort fees then. Maybe it's different if you have the credit card? More likely, they just raised the ante again.
 

Rhodeman77

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You could be right. Last time I was in Vegas was two years ago, but I didn't pay the resort fees then. Maybe it's different if you have the credit card? More likely, they just raised the ante again.

I have the TR credit card too and have booked my last 4 trips all through the TR website, they have charged me the resort fee every time.

The line perks are nice though.
 

moose

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Used to be platinum now it's diamond to get the resort fees off.
 

Rhodeman77

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Considering the resort fee cost more than the standard room fee for 2 of the nights I'm staying there, they don't want to be waiving that money too easily.
 

WedgeRock

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- We booked our Wyndam timeshare presentation, it went as expected. Two hour presentation turned into 3 and lots of high pressure. They served us a basic breakfast, that is all I have to say about that.

I did this once and totally regretted it. Going in with the "keep saying No" attutude sucked, IMO. Sales people make their living closing and I felt like I was wasting their time too. I'd just rather pay my own way than do this again.

Day 6 (Mon) - ... I woke up early as usual, worked out ...

Day 7 (Tues) - Again woke up early worked out ...

I know this because I was up early running the 1/2 mile jogging trail. ...

Vegas... you're doing it right.
 
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p5woody

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Adding pictures:

WSOP - Event #63 - it was fun while it lasted
19702285_10207450032763763_4861048751612544548_n.jpg19657484_10207450032603759_4280191151656732271_n.jpg

Fireworks from our hotel room at the RIO:
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Picture of the indoor track:
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Miscellaneous things to see pictures (fountain, canyon, hoover dam):
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Great show if you ever get a chance to see it:
19598907_10207449006578109_3501045917922779708_n.jpg

Escape room and the Mandalay Aquarium:
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