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Vegas Report – Early Friday

…so after only about 3 hours of sleep I was wide awake so I decided to shower and head down to the casino.  The closest cup of coffee was Payard’s, so I grabbed a large cup and a croissant.  Both were excellent.  While drinking my 1st cup I was checking twitter when I read the news that Danny Gans had passed away.  Many were saddened by this and it’s always sad to see someone pass away so young.  A cynic will wonder how they will replace all of the billboards around the airport and Las Vegas strip.

I played a slew of penny and nickle slots throughout the morning.  I lost everything I put into the machines.  I did so bad, I didn’t even take note of how bad.  This was a rough start to the day.  After a couple hours I went back to Payard’s for a crepe and orange juice.  I’ve never had a crepe before, but this one was pretty damn good.

I was invited for a tour of Zappos Friday afternoon, but the time coincided with the Manny Pacquiao & Ricky Hatton weigh in and the fight was the excuse for the trip.  I love Zappos, so this was a hard decision for me.  However, I was traveling with someone who’s never heard of Zappos (gasp!) so that eased the pain.

After a little relaxating back in the room I headed over to MGM for the weigh in.  It was packed!  There were tons of Brits in for Ricky Hatton.  I made my way towards the arena when I found all of the boxing fans.  I could not believe how crowded it was.  In fact I was told that they were only letting VIP’s after standing in the crowd for about 20 minutes.

weigh-in

After not moving for another 10 minutes I decided to head back to the casino to gamble.  Standing around isn’t very fun to me.  On the way toward the arena I noticed a giant slot.  Of course it was another stupid penny slot.  I lost another $20 and really didn’t have any fun playing so I headed over to play 8/5 Jacks or Better video poker where after about an hour or so I left up $5.

Since this was my friends first time at the MGM I decided to show him the Lion Habitat. The Lions are located on the opposite side of MGM – about a 15 minute walk when not crowded.  On the way there we were sidetracked by 3 card poker.  Table minimums were $10 and would be $25 by the time we left.  After too many drinks, a great dealer and nice pit boss I walked away up $400.  Not too shabby.

Unfortunately, closed circuit viewing of the fight at MGM had sold out while I was at the table so I was told to head over to NYNY to get tickets there.  There was a pit stop to look at the lions on the way to NYNY.  No more tickets available by the time I get NYNY but I was able to secure viewing at the Mirage.  Not ideal, but it wasn’t a big deal.

It was back to the room to change before dinner at Prime…

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Vegas Report – Thursday – Let’s Roll!

…after checking out the room it was time to explore Caesars Palace.  After walking around the casino a little bit I decided that I needed a snack before dinner.  I hit up Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill.  It was just opening for dinner so I decided on the baby romaine salad.  This was a fancy name for a Caesar salad with chorizo.  It was damn good and the perfect snack.

I found a strange looking 7 card/3 hand video poker game by Shadow Bar and decided to get my gambling started.  Since I really didn’t know anything about this I played $20 that went away rather quickly.  I then swore this game off because it wasn’t really fun.

I went back up to the room to change for dinner and watch the end of game 6 of Chicago Bulls vs. Boston Celtics.  Of course this game ended up going to overtime.  Since I haven’t been to Palazzo, I got there with plenty of time to walk around.  I signed up for Club Grazi online and went to pick up my card.  I forgot that I received a $50 gaming credit when I signed up.  That would have been awesome if the machines would accept the card.  I decided to have a drink at the bar while I lost another $20 on video poker.  I couldn’t see the TV’s, but the bartender was getting updates and the Bulls and Celtics ended up going to a game 7.

It was time for what I was assuming would be the highlight of the night – Carne Vino.  I sat at the bar waiting for some friends and had a wonderful glass of Valpolicella.

carne-wino

As the glass was emptying my friends arrived and it was off to mangia!  After watching this video about 20 times I could not be more excited for what was in store.  No appetizer, no funny business, just bring me the steak.  Being the polite people we are we decided to wait while the final steak was delivered.

bone

In the meantime, my porterhouse was taken off the bone and drizzled with a little extra virgin olive oil.  I’ve eaten a lot of steak, but this piece of meat was one of the most beautiful I’ve seen.  It was hard to wait and 5-10 minutes felt like 30 minutes.

steak

The steak was accompanied with mashed potato zeppole.  I nice creamy and crunchy compliment to the steak.  The delay in the final steak delivery proved to have one upside surprise – Free Dessert!  We were presented with a trio of sorbet for the table: Rhubarb, Banana and Date (I think).  Banana was the clear winner for me, but the table was split.  Overall, this was a great dinner and maybe the best steak I’ve had in Las Vegas!

After dinner we parted ways and it was time to go downtown.  We watched KISS on the Fremont Street Experience.  I’m not a KISS fan, but this was pretty awesome.

kiss-downtown

After the show was over we walked around Fremont Street just so my friend could enjoy the spectacle.

gulch

After walking around for a little while I went on the hunt for Golden Monkey.  This is my favorite penny slot and not located in many casinos.  However, the Golden Nugget has a bank of these machines so I headed in.  After roaming around for a few minute I found it and proceeded to lose another $20.  It seems as if any time I put a $20 in that nothing is coming out, so I decided to stop after the loss.

I moved to a mini Pai Gow table to really get the night moving.  Pai Gow is kind of a fun game, but with all of the pushes it’s great for drinking.  After about 8 drinks and 90 minutes I left the Golden Nugget up $100 dollars.  I was happy with that and after small rolling for the first day I was happy to be up a little heading back to Caesars.

Once back to Caesars I promptly lost $300 sitting at a 3 card poker table.  It was the most expensive Coors Light in my history of gambling.  I may have won 2 hands.  It was an aweful session.  It was just after 3am and I was hitting a wall.  I decided to play $5 9/6 Jacks or Better on my way back to the room.  I lost $300 quicker than I did in 3 card poker.  That was a sign that it was time to call it a night.

All in all my first day in Vegas lasted over 25 hours.  I had a great meal and was buzzed enough to pass out quickly…I only had about 3 hours of sleep and it was off to Friday…

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Vegas Report – Thursday – Palace Tower Petite Suite at Caesars Palace

…After a nice cab ride to Caesars Palace we walk into the main check in area.  I tend to always over pack, so I was lugging around a 40+ pound suitcase and a laptop.  We look around, but cannot find Diamond Check In.  We were shown the way by a very nice employee on her way toward the Augustus Tower.  I haven’t seen the gaming area yet, but already realize how big this place is.  Diamond Check in and the Augustus Tower are pretty far from the rest of the casino.  Check in was a breeze and I was upgraded to a petite suite in the Palace Tower as opposed to the Augustus Tower room I reserved.  I love hearing the word suite!

After what felt like a 20 minute walk through the casino we found the Palace Tower.  After a day learning the grounds it wasn’t so bad.  The good news is that it’s right by the pools.  Only 3 of the 5 pools are currently open.  Here is the view of the pools from my room.

cp-pools

Now for a photo tour of the petite suite.  Open the door to the nice entry hall filled with huge closets to the left and two bathrooms and a vanity to the right.

entry

If I were to nitpick I would mention that the TV was too small and did not have HD programming.  The actual decor of the TV area was very nice.  However, I had to chuckle at the $6.50 bag of kettle chips that cost $1 anywhere else.  Truth be told, I would have eaten them if I was drunk and hungry.

tv-area

The room was pretty spacious and, again, decorated very nicely.  The general room decor is modern.  I’ve mentioned before how much I like and prefer clean line design.  Doubling back we head to the bathrooms.

toiletbidet

The larger of the two bathrooms included a single sink with a granite top, a water closet (shown above) with a bidet and toilet as well as a huge jacuzzi tub (not shown).  The smaller of the bathrooms had just a sink water closet.  No complaints with that, just not exciting enough to take a photo.  The bathrooms were connected by jack and jill style showers.

showers

Since the showers have glass doors my friend and I couldn’t both use the bathroom at the same time if one of use was using the shower.  I’m not sure that this was the best design idea, but it was ok.  Having a double shower was pretty cool.  The shower was huge.

neverending-hall

Overall, I was pretty happy with the room.  The bathroom design was semi-dated but kept with the roman theme of the hotel while the main space of the room was spacious and modern.  The room was almost all the way at the end of the hall, which felt like a long haul on the first day but wasn’t really that bad.

Next up:  Time to get up and go…

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Vegas Trip Notes

I’m back from Las Vegas and had a great trip.  I stayed at Caesars Palace which was pretty nice but very big and a little mellow.  Below are the notes I took during the trip.  A lot of these were tweeted during the trip.  Full review coming in the coming days.  

Thurs

Car early
McD’s breakfast
Wine bar – Flight of CA reds. Awesome.
Plane overbooked – $300 + first class + food. 
First class – most leg room individual tv/game/movie unit. Wine, sky/soda, grand marnier, sleep.
20 mins late.
CP huge
Diamond check in on one side. Upgrade to petite suite in palace tower. 15-20 min walk from check in.
Room nice and big. Location not bad.
3 of 5 pools open.
Mesa grill – awesome salad.
Explore CP -$20 vp – loss.
Room – game 6 bulls/celts. Great game
Palazzo – club grazi. $50 sign up.
Nice casino. Machines were broken.
Bar $20 VP. Loss. 
Carne Vino – Awesome. PH for 2.
Downtown
Freemont exp – kiss.
Golden monkey @ golden nugget -$20
Mini pai gow – about 8 kettel/soda +$100
CP 3CP -$300
$5 JOB -$300
Sleep 3 something AM.
Awake 7am. Blech. 

Fri

Up @ 7.
Room for a while.
Coffee & croissant
Various penny slots. +
Crepe madam. Pretty good.
Back to room. Relax.
No Zappos visit
To MGM.
Weigh in packed. told we couldn’t get in.
Played penny slots. -$20
8/5 VP +5
3CP + 400
Closed circuit @ MGM sold out. Told to go to NYNY. Told it’s sold out. Buy CC tix @ Mirage.
Back to room. Change. To Bellagio.
Dinner @ Prime. Kobe strip. AWESOME. Sit outside.
3cp +$400 
To palms
A lot to drink.
3cp +$300
To Gold Coast
Now has TGIFridays. Couple apps. Pai gow -$100
Fun cab to CP
Sleeeeeeep!

Sat

Coffee and croissant
-$100 VP
-$700 various $5 slots
-$50 penny slots
Room. Relax. Shower.
Lunch @ Augustus cafe. Shake + grilled cheese. Not bad.
Diamond lounge. Nice. no buffet. Nice staff. Good drink. Watched kentucky derby. 
To mirage for for CC fight tix
3cp +$200
Explore mirage.
Fight is far away from casino. There’s some kind of miss viet nom thing lots of hotties.  Also some military ball.
Drink + 3 play VP +$24
Time for fight.
Nice set up. Banquet style round tables. GA. Sold out or closed to it. Many VIPs. Not me.
About 65/35 toward hatton.
manny destoys. Place goes nuts. Brits wimper out.
After most leave. We walk out with terry fator show ending.
Dinner @ Samba.
Still many ppl, not many gamblers. $5 BJ and 3cp. Open with seats.
To HRC
Packed
Rearranged floor since last trip. Go-go stage. More slots.
$5 3cp -$100
Lots of DB’s
Caesars. “Early crash”

Sun

Payards croisant/coffee/again/messy
gamble
5c Top dollar slot -20
Sports book
VP 9/6 BP -80
Hawks -5.5 +100 poor wager. Wanted 2 bet more.
Reds + cards parlay +$37. Cards rained out
Sports bar many drink 9/6 VP -20 25 c top dollar -20
Some 7’s slot +7. confused. left.
Forum shops nice
Cheesecake fact – sliders – eh
$5 9/6 job -300
$5 Top dollar +300
$1 WOF +150
Nap
Diamond lounge packed hot food
Craps -400
5 c top dollar -100
Augustus cafe grilled cheese & shake again
PH – rocking
Go go dancers
1c WOF wack -20
3 play VP @ Heart Bar -20
CP – rockin
$1 WOF +75
Crash

Mon

Late rise
Pack
See host – all charges gone
augustus – bacon chz omlt. Good
$1 WOF +75
$1 diamond slot even
Cashier got bitchy when I cashed tickets
Room to relax
Airport
Flight delayed 2 hours
Chilis
Can’t sleep

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Caesars Palace Expansion on hold

I just got the official press release from Harrah’s with confirmation that Caesars Palace in Las Vegas has put a hold on the construction of Octavious Tower.  Here’s the release in it’s entirety.

LAS VEGAS — Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. said it is delaying plans to open 665 new rooms at a sixth tower it has just built at Caesars Palace until there is stronger demand for hotel rooms.

The 23-story Octavius Tower was scheduled to open this summer as part of a $1 billion expansion at the casino resort.

Harrah’s said that other parts of the expansion will open on schedule, including 110,000 square feet of meeting space, an expanded pool and garden area, and three 10,000-square-foot luxury villas. Strong advance bookings warranted finishing the new meeting space, Harrah’s said.

With the economy in the middle of a recession and room occupancy low, there really isn’t a reason to go forward with completion at this point.  It’s better than firing people.  The addition is just about complete so if there’s a need to increase capacity, they’ll be able to move quickly.

For details and pictures head over to Vegas Today and Tomorrow.

Copyright © 2017 Marc Meltzer & EDGe Vegas