My daughter and I arrived at McCarren Airport early Thursday morning and took a limo to Imperial Palace. Hotel is very outdated, smoky, and Casino appeared unkept. Not exactly a good way to start a vacation, but I was comped the rooms on my slot card. Requested a room with a view of the Strip, but was told they were all "Smoking rooms". Clerk offered a room with a view of the pool, however, that room wasn't available until 1:00 p.m. That was fine because we didn't expect a room since we had arrived so early (10:00 a.m.). Went to Bell Captain to hold our bags and was told we had to go outside the front door of the Casino to have that taken care of. (Odd??)

Ate breakfast at the Imperial Buffet. Cannot recommend the food, but the coffee was good. Next tried our luck at the slots. Had none. Left the Casino to explore the Strip.

We made our way to Bally's and took the Monorail to MGM. Did some shopping, had some luck on the slots and decided to see the rest of the casino's at that end of the Strip. We made it back to the Imperial Palace after 5:00 p.m. got our keys and went to our room. What a tiny room!! (it was clean). The decor was so outdated. After a good laugh, we unpacked and decided to call it a night. I know it was early, but we were beat after having been up since 3:00 a.m. Cleveland time. Several hours later I woke up to someone singing Happy Birthday on what sounded like a loud speaker. It seems our poolside room overlooked the site of the Luau at the IP. Oh well, back to sleep. Up again at 11:00 p.m. This time it's the fire alarm ringing in the hallway. I check with the front desk and they say they are investigating and advise us stay in the room. No other word from the front desk. Fall back to sleep, up again at 4:00 a.m. to the sound of the fire alarm. What is going on? The rest of the night, or what's left of it, passes uneventfully.

Day 2: We grab a bite to eat and head for the pool. The attendant is very courteous, brings us our lounge chaises and towels and is tipped accordingly. After 1 hour in the broiling sun I head indoors and leave my daughter to bake for another 30 minutes.

More casino browsing. This time it's off to the Venetian. Quite a sight. We check out the shops and again try our luck at the slots, but have none. We decided to get a quick snack at the Food Court (very nice) and sit and relax and just people watch. From there we headed to Treasure Island, Mirage, and Caesar's.

Day 3: Repeat of day 2 basically.

Day 4: Check out nightmare. Waiting in VIP line, walk up to clerk and sign is put in front of me saying "Closed". Is this a joke? No. She doesn't look my way or say a word, but turns and leaves. I guess it's her lunch break! Finally check out after having to move over to next line. Next wait in long line to have our luggage held since our flight is later that afternoon. Have time to buy a few souvenirs, lose more money, retrieve our luggage and head for the airport.

Summary: Imperial Palace has a great location, but that's it. When are they going to put some money into that place and spruce it up? I would not stay there again, free rooms, or not. It was depressing. Thank God, we were on one of the higher floors. Those elevators are so slow and packed by the time you get to the lower floors.