Planning First Vegas Trip in 15 Years. Tips from Vegas Vets? Couple Quick Questions

Moxie Mike

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I'm planning a trip to LV for the WSOP during the first week of June for business and pleasure. I'll be there through June 7. If you're going to be out there during that time and care to meet up, send me a PM.

Couple quick questions:

Has anyone ever stayed at a condo or an airbnb as opposed to a hotel on the strip? The cost is roughly the same... specifically I'm looking at this one: https://www.vrbo.com/7059110ha?adul...-05-31&departure=2019-06-07&petIncluded=false

What are the pros and cons to this approach?

Do any of you have a Founder's Card? From the looks of things, the Caesars Diamond Rewards status (eliminates resorts fees at Caesars properties, among other perks) is worth the $400 price tag in and of itself. I haven't seen any negative reviews.... is there any reason not go this route?

I'm not going to rent a car - I'll just take Ubers to get anywhere out of walking distance.

Other than that, are there any other tricks to save a few bucks here and there? Any advice you can dispense would be appreciated.

MJ
 

Poker Zombie

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I have received a lot of kudos on my trip reports.
2015
2016
2017

Yes, it's a lot of reading, but there is a lot to do in Vegas. I try my best to make them as informative as possible, so you won't get many strategy discussions or tales of bad-beat woes. Obviously, things rapidly change in Vegas, so take note of the year each report was written and that times do change (and rarely for the better).
 

Rhodeman77

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The perk of staying at a condo is having a full kitchen available to you so you can cook your own meals which will obviously save you a lot of money. I’ve had friends that go out for the WSOP do it and said it was the best way to go.
 

Moxie Mike

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The perk of staying at a condo is having a full kitchen available to you so you can cook your own meals which will obviously save you a lot of money. I’ve had friends that go out for the WSOP do it and said it was the best way to go.

I thought about that... do your friends really retreat back to the condo in the middle of the afternoon for lunch and dinner to cook though? Is there a grocery store within a reasonable distance?

I like the idea and all... but I don't think I'd actually cook very much. Maybe breakfast but that's about it.
 

Rhodeman77

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I thought about that... do your friends really retreat back to the condo in the middle of the afternoon for lunch and dinner to cook though? Is there a grocery store within a reasonable distance?

I like the idea and all... but I don't think I'd actually cook very much. Maybe breakfast but that's about it.

It was 4 friends sharing the cost for a month long trip. They were trying to keep cost as low as possible. I know they had a car too so that would help with buying groceries.

When I do Vegas I don’t want to have to worry about cleaning up the place when I’m done. I want to crawl out of there with my head thumping in a semi-conscious state, leave a few dollars on the night stand for the cleaning staff and be done with the place.
 

moose

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Seems fine except for the creepy screencap from the bedroom cam...

d6dd7aab-b68b-46e3-aebf-1a425f8acac4.c10.jpg
 

Lemonzest

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It kind of depends on several factors. If you want to be on the strip every night then staying in a condo might be annoying. I think the condo VRBO idea is awesome as being there long term you probably really would only hit the strip a few times a week. Having a place which is peaceful and smoke free will make your Vegas stay much more sane. I get a little stir crazy after living in a casino for 3-4 days.

In terms of doing it cost effectively the main thing is probably food. Shake Shack in NYNY is pretty good and affordable. Of course In N Out is also tasty and priced okay.

Earl of Sandwich inside Planet Hollywood is also a great deal for tasty sandwiches and beer.

There are many other awesome places to eat but are not necessarily cost effective :)
 

Moxie Mike

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Thanks to everyone who chimed in with advice. I just booked a flight for May 29th. If anyone wants to see if I am indeed as my profile picture would suggest, I'd love to meetup with a few fellow chippers if you're going to be out there for the first week of the series. Send me a PM to coordinate.

I didn't book a return flight - but I'll probably be out there at least a week. I also haven't booked a room yet but a Caesars property such as the Flamingo seems most likely.

I asked this before but no one responded... has anyone ever purchased a Founder's Card? It kind of seems like a no-brainer given the benefits but I'm leery that it might be one of those too-good-to-be-true types of things.
 

bradiggy

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Check out Jockey Club of Las Vegas for a room, it's a hotel tucked into the Cosmopolitan (has a elevator directly into the Cosmo). You'll have a 50/50 chance of getting a room with a view of the Bellagio fountains (a $20 to the front desk and I bet those odds go to 90%). Free parking in the Cosmo parking garage, and access to the Cosmo's Chelsea Pool. Rooms are massive (relative to anything else on the strip) and kitchens.
 

Moxie Mike

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Check out Jockey Club of Las Vegas for a room, it's a hotel tucked into the Cosmopolitan (has a elevator directly into the Cosmo). You'll have a 50/50 chance of getting a room with a view of the Bellagio fountains (a $20 to the front desk and I bet those odds go to 90%). Free parking in the Cosmo parking garage, and access to the Cosmo's Chelsea Pool. Rooms are massive (relative to anything else on the strip) and kitchens.

Thanks for the tip. Unfortunately, I checked and the hotel is sold out the week I am in LV.

I bought a founder's card - which includes some perks for Caesars properties - so chances are I'll wind up booking at the Flamingo or something like that.
 

BukNaked36

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Are you a Caesars Total Rewards member? This is what the rate calendar is showing with promo SEMI19. I'm base level (gold) so I assume you would see the same or better. For some reason, it's not showing me a Friday May 31 rate???

I've stayed at the Flamingo and Linq and really liked them both. Great location right next to each other. Flamingo has a much nicer pool though.

I've also stayed at the Tuscany (not a Caesars property) which is a 5-10 minute walk behind Ballys, but is a really nice place to stay for the buck normally.

I hope you have a safe, enjoyable and profitable trip!

277695
 

Moxie Mike

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Are you a Caesars Total Rewards member? This is what the rate calendar is showing with promo SEMI19. I'm base level (gold) so I assume you would see the same or better. For some reason, it's not showing me a Friday May 31 rate???

The Founder's Card comes with an upgrade to Caesars Diamond Status, which includes a discount and waives resort fees among other things. The upgrade takes a couple weeks to happen once you activate it, so I won't be able to book until early May.
 

TheOctagon

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anywhere out of walking distance.

That would be just about everything except properties on the monorail and those that are clustered together like LINQ, Flamingo, O'Sheas, Harrah's or Aria, Cosmo, Bellagio. Not impossible, but if you have to skip up or down town to get somewhere or back to the WSOP (which is exclusively accessible by car unless you're staying at the Palms or Gold Coast) you'll be Ubering like a madman.

Right now targeting the WSOP O8 event on May 30, as well as the $600 2 day nlhe event. Other than that, just depends on what the schedule allows for.

They're running a weekly $250 Sunday PLO event as well, if that's of interest to you. Just read about it today, actually.

I don't have any input on a condo vs. a hotel. I think your choice to avail yourself of the Caesars rewards program and getting reduced fees is the ticket. You want to be kind of central if you're planning on enjoying more than just the WSOP during your trip.

Furthermore, the Harrah's sports book writers are generous with their drink tickets if you treat them well. The bartenders barely enforce the "Must use same day" fine print.

Aria's $1/3 tables play bigger than what's on the sign.

Do yourself a favor and hit the Walgreens or CVS on your way in and stock up on water and healthy-ish snacks to fuel your days (popcorn, nuts, granola, dried fruit, protein bars). This will go a long way in saving you a bunch on dumb grab n go stuff. If you're playing poker the whole time, you can't be feeling like hot garbage because you ate at In n Out every single meal. That's -EV. (also my personal take, you do whatever makes you happy I'm not here to give you a physical or anything).

You're going to get gouged at any strip property for basically any meal unless you're cashing in some points on your rewards card. If you want to power up for a big day and grab a discount, check the Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars right before they switch from breakfast to lunch and you could get lucky and score fresh lunch for the breakfast rate.

Off-strip local fare is where it's at if you're down for reasonable and tasty. But, you have to plan for those side trips.

Prime Rib at El Cortez for $12.95.

Reasonable belly fillers to be had at Ellis Island Casino and Brewery (ask any dealer: the ribs are the way to go). Again, side trip. You can walk back to Bally's pretty easily from there, though. Don't be tempted to do that at night while drunk. What? I wouldn't know from experience or anything.

Have fun and run good! I could think of more at any minute, but that's a good rundown for now.
 

Moxie Mike

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That would be just about everything except properties on the monorail and those that are clustered together like LINQ, Flamingo, O'Sheas, Harrah's or Aria, Cosmo, Bellagio. Not impossible, but if you have to skip up or down town to get somewhere or back to the WSOP (which is exclusively accessible by car unless you're staying at the Palms or Gold Coast) you'll be Ubering like a madman.

Flamingo is a leading candidate and probably where I'll wind up since I already have the Founders Card/Caesars Diamond upgrade. I have some local friends that are going to be out there at the same time, at least one of which is going to rent a car. I'll Uber when I have to. I might look at the condo deal next year to see if saving on meals is worth the hassle.

Is it really that big of a deal to walk from the Strip to the Rio? It's only about a mile (I know it'll be 100 degrees).

They're running a weekly $250 Sunday PLO event as well, if that's of interest to you. Just read about it today, actually.

The WSOP is?

Do yourself a favor and hit the Walgreens or CVS on your way in and stock up on water and healthy-ish snacks to fuel your days (popcorn, nuts, granola, dried fruit, protein bars). This will go a long way in saving you a bunch on dumb grab n go stuff. If you're playing poker the whole time, you can't be feeling like hot garbage because you ate at In n Out every single meal. That's -EV. (also my personal take, you do whatever makes you happy I'm not here to give you a physical or anything).

This is good advice - I definitely plan on this.

You're going to get gouged at any strip property for basically any meal unless you're cashing in some points on your rewards card.

Off-strip local fare is where it's at if you're down for reasonable and tasty. But, you have to plan for those side trips.

I definitely need a strategy for food. If I'm in an event at the Rio at dinner time, I fully expect to be stuck eating there. But aside from that, I'll have to do some planning.

Thanks for the thoughtful post. This is exactly the type of advice I need.
 

Rhodeman77

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Is it really that big of a deal to walk from the Strip to the Rio? It's only about a mile (I know it'll be 100 degrees).

I stay at the Rio most of the time when I go and walk to and from the strip. I usually leave pretty early in the morning or return very early in the morning when it isn’t t as hot. The walk isn’t bad at all. But don’t do it drunk. You do have to cross some highway entrance and exit ramps and the traffic is speeding down that street.
 

ekricket

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Thanks to everyone who chimed in with advice. I just booked a flight for May 29th. If anyone wants to see if I am indeed as my profile picture would suggest, I'd love to meetup with a few fellow chippers if you're going to be out there for the first week of the series. Send me a PM to coordinate.

I didn't book a return flight - but I'll probably be out there at least a week. I also haven't booked a room yet but a Caesars property such as the Flamingo seems most likely.

I asked this before but no one responded... has anyone ever purchased a Founder's Card? It kind of seems like a no-brainer given the benefits but I'm leery that it might be one of those too-good-to-be-true types of things.

I’m there from the 29th till the 3rd. Bunch of us playing the big 50. I’ll pm my contact info.
 

Poker Zombie

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Is it really that big of a deal to walk from the Strip to the Rio? It's only about a mile (I know it'll be 100 degrees).
I have made the walk at night. It was long, and uphill as you cross the bridge over the interstate, so it will have a uphill stint both coming and going. I would not do it again, but it can be done.

The daytime is a different story. The walk from the Rio to the Palms was terrible in 110 degree weather. There is no shade, and that was just walking a 1/2 mile. Zero chance I would ever try to walk over the interstate, in the summer daytime, and then sit at a table full of card players.

I definitely need a strategy for food. If I'm in an event at the Rio at dinner time, I fully expect to be stuck eating there. But aside from that, I'll have to do some planning.
There has been a food truck - All American Dave - for the past few years that provides good, healthy food. You can get on a "food plan" with them to save some money. I have not checked to see it they have the contract again this year, but they had a lot of things worked out, like app ordering and delivery so you didn't have to wait in long lines (and they didn't get as crushed in lunch/dinner rushes).
 
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TheOctagon

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k9dr

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I have stayed off strip at a condo before and enjoyed it. You would definitely need a rental car, but the benefit is you are parking within a few steps of your room.

Here is a nice website listing all the poker tournaments for the summer:

https://vegas-poker-schedule.com
 

Lemonzest

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Is it really that big of a deal to walk from the Strip to the Rio? It's only about a mile (I know it'll be 100 degrees).

uhh yeah it is a big deal. I would never walk this in that heat. Also you will arrive at your location a hot mess....ew. An Uber from Rio to the strip will be around 10 bucks...kind of a no brainer.

I do enough walking while in Vegas just getting around inside the various casinos. I don't need to do extra walking outside in the sun.
 

Moxie Mike

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uhh yeah it is a big deal. I would never walk this in that heat. Also you will arrive at your location a hot mess....ew. An Uber from Rio to the strip will be around 10 bucks...kind of a no brainer.

I do enough walking while in Vegas just getting around inside the various casinos. I don't need to do extra walking outside in the sun.

Last time I was out there was 4th of July weekend... it was hot but I don't remember it being super uncomfortable to walk around in. In any event, it sounds like playing Human Frogger across LV Boulevard is not worth the trouble, so commute by jetpack it is :)
 

TheOctagon

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Human Frogger across LV Boulevard

Jaywalking in the heart of the strip is extra illegal. They built (annoying, sometimes dirty, often with broken escalators) pedestrian overpasses at many intersections. It’s the off strip crossings and the ones where there isn’t an elevated walkway that are no bueno.
 

APatHand

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Jaywalking across the strip is just a bad idea.
Walkers not paying attention
Drivers not paying attention
EMS responding to the call

This brings up another point. If you are on the strip to sight-see, let someone who isn't interested in the sights drive.
 

Poker Zombie

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I'm not even sure jaywalking LV Blvd is realistically possible. Either one side of the street or the other (sometimes both) has a barrier all along the strip, until you get to a legal crossing.

Not that it doesn't occasionally happen. Free alcohol frequently leads to poor decisions.
 
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