I haven't seen Sin City in three months so I was feeling a little HOME AWAY FROM HOME sick.
I booked my usual (El Cheapo) hotel room at my secret (El Cheapo) hotel and start planning away. I work for a hotel corporation so I get great rates at non gaming hotels as well as a couple resorts in Vegas. I am also a huge opponent to the "resort fee" hotels. Thats a whole other story. Coming soon.
Trip planned for 4 days in January. Airfare very reasonable through Sun Country.
So I am arriving now at said El Cheapo and notice something different about it. Lots of remodeling going on. Front desk guy is a friend so as soon as he gives me "the look" i feel like something is wrong. Never noticed the new signage hanging in the lobby, apparently the hotel had changed ownership, removed their name and now belongs to SIEGAL SUITES. This is not the way I like to start a trip. They had no record of my reservation(why would they) and couldn't come close to offering me my "employee" rate. Its Saturday afternoon so I pay the outrageous $129 rate plus weird green fees, and other taxes equaling around $150 total, when my entire stay was to total around $100 and tax. I know i am spoiled that way. Anyway the hunt for a new hotel room starts as soon as I get into the room. I find a gem downtown. I will move to the Four Queens on Sunday and pay $39/nt (NO RESORT FEE) Never stayed there before so now i can scratch that off my list of "been to's".
I am a little exahusted but want to find a little something to do on Saturday. Lets go try to meet some porn stars, (AVN'S IN TOWN). I walk to Wynn/Encore check out Parasol Up, then Parasol Down unwind with a couple $18 drinks, well worth it though. A little gambling and Im back at even anyway.
I head across the Strip to Slots o Fun and have a hotdog (why not). Noticed they added a couple bowling alleys and table game machines like craps and blackjack. Very fun atmosphere and cleaner then the last time I was there for sure. After the dog and some craps I head over to Circus Circus because I planned on checking out Vince Neil's restaurant and bar at some point during the trip. I can honestly say it was a blast. Beers and Karaoke happening and the place was full, I sat at the bar as I am one to do anyway, bartender was cool and kept me drinking while watching a hockey game and listening to a really good Karaoke MC. Stayed pretty late (no idea the time) and after chatting with a great couple from London headed back to Slots o Fun to play more machine craps. Did very well again and decided to head over to Peppermill for a late night bite. I sat in the lounge (of course) and played some VP and got some sliders. (not the best they've put out) Good crowd as usual.
All in all, didn't spend to much cash and no hangover the next day.
Sunday arrives and I have to move to downtown. I love downtown, so i dont mind at all.
I get to the Four Queens around Noon and get checked in right away. Didnt try the $20 trick or anything since I hadnt stayed before i didnt know what to expect. Got a 6th floor KING room facing the Fremont Experience. Not bad, especially for the price, a little old but I call myself a "vintage enthusiast" so I better like it no matter what. Now the real winning begins. Me and a buddy do some penny machines and he starts pulling money out like an ATM and I am breaking even so Im happy for now. We get hungry and he suggests BBQ. I want to check out Binions but he would like to try Big Erns at Container Park. Ill try Binions next trip, we head to the Park and Big Erns. The park is very busy around 4p and restaurants weren't so we browsed.
Very impressed with the additions to the park since the last visit about 4 months ago. Many more shops and a couple new restaurants, they have added on to the tree house style jungle gym structure and the place was buzzing. Unfortunately Big Erns was more of a big bust, Not impressed at all. Big Ern's Review. The rest of Container park was great very busy with new businesses going in or already up and running. From there it was your basic downtown gambling blitz from Casino to Casino up down and up again. Took it a little easy, knowing Monday will be a long one.
Monday morning shows up and I am up with the sun(sort of). Jump a bus from the side of Binion's and head to the Strip for a walking trip starting at the sign. The Express bus is quick and cheap so I usually use it at least a couple times per visit. The Deuce ride takes forever with 3 times the stops.
The Welcome sign has about 20 people in line at about Noon so I just took a (RARE) selfie and soaked in the atmosphere of the Strip. Its like a rejuvenation every time I see that sign. Thank You Betty Willis. My walk begins and I snap photos for updating the website and keep an eye out for any NEW structures I was unaware of. I fatigue quickly, luckily near the newly opened Pete Rose Sports Bar and Grill. Review Here I will just say it was a thumbs up and I will return, great food and people.
Then I head next door and do some gambling at Planet Hollywood. Craps was amazing for about three hours and I got a reminder about a group I wanted to meet up with. So i collected the cash and headed down the strip. Craig, Shawn, Madelyn, Anne, Troy, Dennis, David and of course Nikki (the organizer) were waiting at Diablos Cantina. That was a blast and these guys are members of a couple different Vegas Groups that meet up once and a while, Solo Vegas and Everything Vegas.
Diablos itself was awesome too. Nothing beats sitting by the huge double doors right off the Blvd. Margaritas were great, happy hour was from 3-7p. Their "wheel of sin" dictates Happy Hour prices. I wanted to go up to the balcony overlooking the Strip but to be honest, I was having so much fun at the bar on the first floor, I forgot. Many cocktails later I depart on my drunken hunt for food. Havent been to Fatburger for a while so why not? Then I remembered, this place is only good for "drunk" eats, and thats about it. I sat in the Fatbar outside and it was completely empty, the bartender was running in and out and told me i could order certain items outside because she had to carry them out and only has 2 hands(not sure what that meant) but I ordered a burger, chili dog and a beer. All came cold and sloppy looking, but its "drunk" food on the strip at Midnight. Then something really interesting happened. Heading back towards Flamingo looking around and noticed a lot of police cars parked on the median but with their lights on. A SWAT team vehicle was surrounded by cameras and cars. Then I realized they were finishing up shooting a scene for the new Bourne movie. So I found a few good angles and watched for a couple hours. Then returned downtown and called it a night.
Tuesday is a late wake up day, site seeing and gambling. First I need to cash in a sports bet at El Cortez, since I'm there I am going to check out Pizza Lotto as well. Great stuff! Had a slice and soda, their liquor licence wasn't set up yet and one corner was still under some construction but the pizza was great and I had a chance to sit and chat with the owner. They seem to have some great plans for the former Cafe spot. Long walk over to the Cal just to play a little and check out the remodeled look. Everything was very clean and white looking. Up on the mezzanine level I discovered their Sportsbook, Its off in a corner and not real big but plenty of tv's and easy in and out windows to bet at. Quick walk through the skyway to Main Street Station for some VP at Boar's Head bar (always fun), then to Downtown Grand for whatever they can offer. I was pleasantly surprised the tables were full and Furnace bar was over half full of drinkers playing VP. It was a very fun atmosphere. Then down to Fremont for the show and then over to Binions to see a friend and more VP. Nothing overly exciting the rest of the evening but played a lot of "Machine Craps" and did very well. Hung out until the Binny's Bullpen bar closed.
Last day starts at Check out but I have a full day ahead, flight leaves around 11p so I check my bags and look for lunch, Haven't spent any time at the D yet so American Coney is for lunch. As usual American Coney hits the spot and I hit some Sigma Derby for an hour, then walk to the far reaches of Fremont to reminisce on the way things used to be. Atomic Liquor is a must see every trip, classic in it's Vegas Cheesiness.
Its a pretty sunny day and perfect picture weather so I take a bunch of the area before deciding to check out Toy Shack. Located in the Neonopolis shopping area, Toy Shack was made famous by Pawn Stars when the owner would appear as the toy expert on their show. To be honest I am not really impressed. Very expensive and not very friendly at all. I was much more impressed with a store adjacent to Toy Shack named Ultimate Sports Cards and Memorabilia. Tons of Sports collectibles and autographed items for very reasonable prices. The guy was cool and they also have a "expert" connection with Pawn Stars. I will be heading back to his store next trip, I had my eye on a couple items. The next thing I knew, I was standing in front of Plaza after another random picture taking journey. I visited Bier Garden at Plaza and it should be called "Bore" Garden. No one at the inside bar or outside in the Garden area. Seems like a great place to hang out, watch people walking by and smoke a cigar and down a cocktail or two. I would change the cheap ass bean bag boards to something a little more sturdy and change the fake grass and shrubs to something real. After my remodeling plans for Bier Garden I was in the mood for Oscar's Happy Hour. Sat at the bar for my last meal of the trip and had meatballs and crab cakes and a couple Guinness. Everything was great at Oscars as it usually is. Read about Oscar's
My trip is coming to an end, but not before a little more VP. Bar top at the newly designed Filament bar at Fremont Casino was very bright and very "polished". I enjoyed the huge flat screens behind the bar, but they seemed a bit high so you would strain your neck looking up at them. Not much winning so I moved closer to my bags at Four Queens. Sat at the main bar and couldn't lose for trying, so that was a great way to wind down my trip. Jumped the shuttle and off to the airport , till next time. Watch you'r aces!
to be cont........