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My thoughts on Vegas trip

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#1 of 27 OFFLINE   mylan



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Posted September 25 2006 - 05:26 AM

My wife and I have just returned from a ten year anniversary trip to Las Vegas and much has changed since our last visit ten years ago. The Paris hotel/casino was very opulent and the food was unreal but I doubt we'll be going back anytime soon. It seems Vegas is no longer a cheap place to go and the odds on slots have certainly changed for the worse! Here is a list of my observations/gripes: Food has gotten very expensive, breakfast was at least $35 with tip, good luck finding a McDonalds, there was one at MGM Grand but that was a mile away. Alcohol: a beer was $6, 7 with tip. Even water was $2.50 or $3.50 depending on where you go. We did find $1 water at WalGreens but it too was a mile away. We stayed in a constant state of dehydration, I was sucking ice cubes from my drinks. You do get "free" drinks while gambling but the waitress came around very infrequently, that "free" drink costed about $40 considering the time we were on the slots waiting. It seems the odds have changed, ten years ago,we won enough to play for a while, this time we spent everything we took. It wasn't just us, we stood there and watched a guy feed a $100 bill into a dollar slot and proceed to lose it in just under ten minutes. After losing $200 in slots the first two days, I was a little shell shocked in playing table games, most minimums on the blackjack tables was 10 to 15 bucks. We met a couple who won $16,000 on the high roller slots but they were down $7,000 before hitting that. I would be sick way before I got to that point and was at what we had lost. After awhile it just wasn't any fun. Most shows were long sold out and would have been $300 IF we could have gotten tickets. I did win tickets to an old style Follies show at the Tropicana that would have cost $90 that was a topless show, my only luck with winning anything. In hindsight, we shoud have booked at least one good show before we left and stayed off the slots but there really is not that much to do other than walk around and sightsee, which we ended up doing alot of. I would be interested in hearing from any of you who have visited there recently to get your take on it but I think we'll be doing an all-inclusive to somewhere warm next time!
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#2 of 27 OFFLINE   Thi Them

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Posted September 25 2006 - 05:39 AM

I was there over weekend. Yeah, it's not fun at all when you lose at gambling. You should've went downtown where the games are cheaper. There are some people on the street selling water for $.75 or a dollar. Lots of fast-food places where you can get cheap food. You definately should've bought tickets ahead of time. I got to eat at the Wynn buffet this time for brunch. At $28 or so, the food wasn't very good. ~T

#3 of 27 OFFLINE   Mark Paquette

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Posted September 25 2006 - 05:39 AM

Mylan, I've only been to Vegas once and it was about 3 years ago. Your post pretty much sums up my feelings about my trip. It's just not my cup of tea.

#4 of 27 OFFLINE   mylan



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Posted September 25 2006 - 06:07 AM

I've been four times but all were in the early 90's. We really should have hit the Freemont street experience off the strip but were always distracted by other things. Off the top of my head the good parts of the trip were: The food was incredible, the Paris buffet was rated tops and I can concur, Breakfast was a feast to behold and the blueberry desert crepes were unreal. The view from the top of the Eiffel Tower at night was exellent, we saw the Bellagio fountain show across the street from above it. We could also see it from our room. We saw the Bodies exibit at the Tropicana which was interesting. Even with all the food I lost three pounds from all the walking, thats about it for good points.
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#5 of 27 OFFLINE   nolesrule



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Posted September 25 2006 - 07:40 AM

I've never been inside Paris, so I can't comment on it specifically. But I have only one question, why were you playing slots? Slots are and have always been the worst odds in any casino. For lower minimums, hit the casinos on Fremont St. As for food prices, it just takes a little bit of research about what kinds of restaurants and buffets are at your and neighboring hotels. The food court at Caesar's Palace casino has some good stuff for reasonable prices, and many of the hotels have reasonably priced buffets. As for water, there's always someone (or 3 or 4) on the bridge between the Bellagio and Caesar's Palace selling ice-cold bottled water for $1. If you are looking for a low-risk table game to play for fun (as opposed to making serious money), try Pai-gow Poker. I can sit at a table for 3-4 hours with a bankroll of $100 and walk away down $20 or up $80 and have gotten 6-7 free drinks. Either way, I have fun, get the free booze and the money doesn't dissapear in 5 minutes.

#6 of 27 OFFLINE   Joe Szott

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Posted September 25 2006 - 08:05 AM

Laughlin, NV or Reno are the places to go these days IMHO. Smaller, not as opulent, but realls the Vegas of old with good prices on food and decent odds on games. YMMV, but the last few times I went to either of these places the experience was good.

#7 of 27 OFFLINE   Shane Martin

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Posted September 25 2006 - 09:17 AM

Slots is a sucker bet at best. Your best bet IMHO is to learn to play craps or stick to some of the other table games like 3 card poker. I know I lasted a good 4-5 hrs on $50 at craps. It's not an easy game to just sit down and learn but there are free games early in the morning for training sessions. Older casinos are where the big profits are at. The better odds are there because they don't have the same overhead the mega casinos have. Food wise: If you shop around and look you will find deals. Coupon books are good as well. Downtown is generally where the bargains are at. Taking a bus down there is the only way to go. Don't take a cab unless you wish to pay out the nose. There's a Krispy Kreme in the Excalibur. They also have a very inexpensive buffet there too for breakfast.

#8 of 27 OFFLINE   mylan



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Posted September 25 2006 - 09:43 AM

Well, as far as food goes, breakfast always had to be at Paris, i'm hypogylcemic so I ate a Slimfast in the morning while my wife was getting ready (not a fast ritual) so I had no time to take a bus anywhere to get anything other than there otherwise breakfast would have been three hours after I awoke.
I was wondering when the questions would start about why we stuck with slots. I know what the odds are but I also know I have always had some luck. I am not a player, so to speak so only blackjack would have been something I was familiar with. Pai Gow Poker is something I tried to study in the weeks leading up to the trip but still was confused with all the rules. If I ever go back, i'll try to be studied in at least the basics. I think after the first day, I was standing around stunned and really didn't want to think about playing the dealer or other people.
I'm getting the feeling this thread is going to turn out like Neil's dating threads always do, no I don't know what i'm doing, yes, i'll try harder next time, etc. etc. Posted Image
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#9 of 27 OFFLINE   Dennis Nicholls

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Posted September 25 2006 - 09:50 AM

Mylan, where do you live? There are other places to go in Nevada. As for me, the closest casino/resort is Cactus Petes in Jackpot, just over the Idaho border south of Twin Fall. It's about 2 hours drive from Boise. There's a liquor store across the street that wants about half of what the Idaho state liquor stores charge per bottle, so people here drive down and play at Cactus Petes and stock up before returning home. It's probably illegal but there's little enforcement as I see it.
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#10 of 27 OFFLINE   mylan



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Posted September 25 2006 - 10:44 AM

We live in Gainesville, Ga. about an hours drive north of Atlanta. The closest place to us would be Harrah's in Cherokee, NC. We have been there and were not impressed. It was all slots and video poker, no dealers, no alcohol if I remember correctly but it just did not have the same vibe. Instead of coins dropping, you were issued credits, now thats the way it is in Vegas. You used to could tell when people were winning, now, it is too quiet. The odds there were even worse than in Vegas.
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#11 of 27 OFFLINE   Carl Miller

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Posted September 25 2006 - 12:53 PM

Mylan, you're totally right about what you said. I love Vegas anyway because I like the atmosphere, but generally the days of inexpensive all you can eat buffets on the strip are definitely gone. They're still all you can eat, but they ain't cheap anymore. The strip is really moving toward (and has been for quite some time) catering to people with lots of money to spend. It's not just the high rollers mind you that the strip is now geared to, it's people who are willing to spend money at all the high priced/high end exclusive stores, the fine dining, shows and so on.....Yes, everyone is correct in saying that you can still find this or that for cheap, but point is that 10-15 years ago you didn't have to look so hard for a bargain on the strip. The strips lure used to be the cheap food, and the big buffets...to get people in the casino to gamble of course. Now, the lure is luxury, and the strip hotels/casinos make more money on everything else they offer combined, than they do on gambling...According to Casino Player magazine. This is why the Freemont area has been making such a comeback in recent years...It is moving toward catering to the people the strip has essentially left behind. As for slots..Strip odds are amongst the worst in the country and definitely not the thing to play if you're looking to win which I know you weren't. That's how it is with slots though, pretty much anywhere. You want to at least get some time on the machine, but sometimes it doesn't work out that way. The difference between slots on the strip and slots in Reno won't amount to much other than the slots in Reno will toy with you a little longer before it takes you down. Unless something good happens on the slot, a .25 slot in Reno will take $20 from you in 15 mintues, and the one on the strip will take it in 10. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy overall. I go to Vegas at least annually, and have seen the move toward what you described take place over time...It is a bummer for sure.

#12 of 27 OFFLINE   mylan



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Posted September 25 2006 - 03:37 PM

Carl, everything you said, I agree 100% even though I have only seen the before and after from ten years ago till now, not annually as you have. I think if we go back we will still stay on the strip but venture to the old part of town more frequently. I got to thinking out there that what with the prices the resturants, shops, etc. already assumed you had won big or had major money to burn, which we do not. B.T.W. we share the same birthday, same day, same year. I'll send ya a Happy birthday wish this year.......
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#13 of 27 OFFLINE   Michael D. Bunting

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Posted September 25 2006 - 04:40 PM

Vegas is still great. Check out www.lasvegastalk.com for the scoop on where to eat...what shows to see....and anything else Vegas related.

My wife and I only live about 2-3 hours away, and we go at least once a month (and sometime twice or more!).

We have seen many shows, most of them via the 1/2 price ticket booths on the strip. Now, if you want to see Elton or Celine, those will cost you....no way around that (in any city).

There is a McD's outside the MGM and also one in the Luxor. There may be more as well. Don't forget BK and Subway near the MGM as well. I think there is even a In-N-Out there in the same spot as well (not 100% sure though).

My wife and I usually stay at Paris and love the location. We usually are pretty budget-minded for breakfast and lunch and usually splurge for a decent dinner. But even our dinners are in the $50-$60 range and that isn't much more than what you will spend at your local Applebees or TGI Fridays when you go there. We love Mon Gab Ami there at Paris, and you can't beat sitting out on the patio for a decent dinner and a great view of the Belaggio Fountains.

As far as gambling goes, just spend what you are comfortable with losing. Most of the time - you are going to lose. Sometimes you win. I have done both in Vegas, and I'm not even a huge gambler. My wife likes slots - so I usually let her have her fun on those.

We love it...

Try going to Hawaii and compare the prices Posted Image

#14 of 27 OFFLINE   Alex-C



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Posted September 25 2006 - 05:43 PM

I can't stand Uptown Vega$. Money vacuums disguised as casino games, nose in the air attitude, pricks in silks, overly expensive meals, you can't cheer, you can't get excited, its like a never-ending Drakkar stank nightmare. (although there are some wonderful things to do, dont get me wrong, I enjoy the brewery at the Monte Carlo, the Caesar shops, the fountains, etc.). ..but, give me midtown or downtown (Fremont) any time of day and twice on Sunday. I much more enjoy "slumming" it at the Westward Ho, Riveria, etc, you know, places where you can walk right up from the curb to the craps table that is half outside the front door. There aint nothing like playing craps with your back to traffic 15 feet away, while the morning sun hits you and you're sucking down screwdrivers. hahaha. Anyway, places like the MGM, Bellagio etc, the atmosphere etc. sort of makes me sick. YMMV, in fact you probably disagree with everything I'm about, but that's cool. I'll say this about Vega$, there aint nothing like it, and there is something for everyone, and if you go for a weekend and dont come back with a crazy story, you're doing something wrong.
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#15 of 27 OFFLINE   Shane Martin

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Posted September 26 2006 - 01:54 AM

My memory is hazy but it was at the the New York New York.

#16 of 27 OFFLINE   Dave_Brown


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Posted September 26 2006 - 02:49 AM

The girlfriend, oops, I mean fiance as of last week, and I just got back yesterday. We stayed at the MGM and did everything we wanted and planned. We set up a savings for a gambling fund months before we left and if we lost it, so what? The MGM was a bit on the high side, but not to bad. We went across the street to the Tropicana and played some $5 blackjack and got hooked on the rapid roulette with a $2.50 minimum. The food was expensive, did a couple buffets at the MGM but if we charged it to our room we got a $25 credit off the bill. We also went down to meet some friends at the Luxor and the lunch buffet there was $15 cheaper than MGM but the food, while still good, wasn't at the same level as the MGM. Shows are expensive but usually pretty good. This time we went to see Penn and Teller. At around $70 a ticket, all I can advice is don't bother. The tricks were cool, but in the 90 minute show, I bet 70 minutes was of Penn talking and rambling on. By the end of long weekend, the fiance had won $371 on the penny slots and I got a lucky bet on double zero and walked away with almost $400, so we enjoyed our time out there and may try to go back sometime.

#17 of 27 OFFLINE   Francois Caron

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Posted September 26 2006 - 04:40 AM

Wow! My last trip was over ten years ago and I'm surprised just how much it's changed! Back the I was able to find decent places to eat which didn't cost a fortune, and I was able to play a bit of everything without losing (loosing? Posted Image ) too much. But based on all your comments, it appears Vegas may have changed a bit too much.

I gues I'll stick with Canadian casinos for now. Best thing about them is that all winnings are tax free. Posted Image

#18 of 27 OFFLINE   Chris Lockwood

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Posted September 26 2006 - 04:44 AM

> good luck finding a McDonalds Yeah, there are only about 20 of them on the Strip- seriously, probably more in that small area than anywhere else. I was just there last year. There are also other fast food chains around. There are several malls with food courts and other inexpensive food choices. And still some buffets around $10 or less on the Strip. I also paid under $50/night to stay on the Strip, which I thought was pretty good for a hotel, vs. something like a Motel 6. There's no reason to pay $20+ for a meal unless you want to. I didn't find the food any more expensive than on any other vacation I've been on. I probably spent about $25/day on average for food.

#19 of 27 OFFLINE   Kevin_Spradley


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Posted September 26 2006 - 08:01 AM

I have been to Vegas twice now. The last time was in July of this year. However, this was a guy trip to celebrate our 30th birthdays, so I am sure what we wanted to experience was different than what you all wanted with your couple trips. We thought about shows, but we wanted to party. And let me tell you, party we did. By the last night, we had mastered the $50 handshake to doormen, and VIP rope people, so we kept getting into places we shouldn't have been. I played slots for 10 mins waiting a buddy to finish his craps roll. I won $11 on slots. I only play craps these days and can play for hours with a minimal starting bankroll. The waitresses come around a lot more to the tables than to the slots.Let's just say the craps table was nice to me. We went to several different upscale bars and such and thought the food was reasonably priced and the other meals weren't too expensive either. I would highly recommend staying in the Mandalay Bay. It was phenomenal and we are already planning our return trip. We all took a set amount of money, about $900, for 4 day, 3 night trip. A couple of hints to newbies, don't play no-limit poker at 4:30 am after drinking and partying all night.

#20 of 27 OFFLINE   SteveA


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Posted September 26 2006 - 10:30 AM

The Casino Royale is like that too. It's great!

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