First timer on posting a trip report. I like to read them so I figure someone might like to read mine also. This was only my third time out to Vegas. I love the place but just go on biz due to the missus doesn't care to fly and she is skeptical about the gambling part. I keep telling her what great fun she would have but she's not ready. Perhaps in the fall she will consider it she says. Plus there's that nagging little problem of the kids being in school. Arrrg.

This was a biz trip for a Convention at the Sands Expo. Got a package deal on the flight (N/S from Charlotte), the Venetian (3 nghts) and a full size rental car for $950. Flight - uneventful and speedy thanks to my Itouch and episodes of Sopranos to watch. One note - drinks are now up to $7 on U.S. Air. I commented that they charge more than most hotel bars now and we don't even get Television. Flying does suck these days. Took the free water and passed on the booze.

Got my rental using the Hertz kiosk system. Little bit tricky but there was a very nice lady to walk me thru it and since it is new there was no one using them. Funny since the line was LOOOONG. Took about 4-5 minutes and I was out the door. Great. Normally use Avis and go straight to the car with their FREE preferred member service, but this was part of the Expedia package. Not a Preferred member at Hertz since they charge $50 for the privilege. No thanks.

Tooled around a bit and then went over to a nice Sushi bar on Paradise and had dinner. The place is next to the CVS across the street from Hard Rock hotel. Pricey but compared to strip Sushi restaurants, probably less. Quality was pretty good and the waitresses were all hot Koreans with big, fake chests. This fake chest thing is definitely a them in Vegas. Must be more Silicone per square mile than anywhere in the world. I know they were all fake b/c I travel a lot to Korea and the women are not large chested in general. Not complaining though, most men wouldn't since we are all pigs anyway.

Checked in late and found they were out of my room selection. That was great since I agreed to a smoking optional room and in return got one of the 1100 Sq ft suites. Sorry honey but you missed it.
I've stayed in a lot of 5 Star hotels and have to say it was a nice suite. Three t.v.s, marble entry, marble bath, all conveniences. Only two complainte - not enough lighting in the suite to suit my tastes and no coffee maker. What? No coffee maker? Even days inn has a coffee maker I'm told. This really stinks when yr on east coast time let me tell you.

Otherwise I would say it's a great property and the service was top notch across the board. Maid did a super job and no one came knocking period, of course I put out the DND sign nightly.

So the rest of the trip was just business, a little gambling, one show - KA, and a couple of nice meals - Tao and Yard House. Yard House is out past the Mandalay Bay in the Town Square Retail complex on the right side of Las Vegas Blvd. It took me a while to find the place because the rental car map shows the Town Square development on the opposite of the interstate, not even on Las Vegas Blvd. Weird.
Anyway, the development has quite a few nice restaurants and all kinds of shops. Surprisingly, even though a lot of the stores are also on the strip or at Fashion Place mall, the place was pretty crowded. Ditto for the Yard House. Main reason for choosing was the 100+ draft beer selection. Food is strip priced and the beers are $6 each unless you go during happy hour. That was my goal but since I got lost I actually missed happy hour. Anyway I had the Filet with mashed and asparagus and a side wedge with blue cheese, onions, bacon. YUM. Had a couple of 1/3 Pear Cider and 2/3 Harp drafts Also very tasty.

Tao was a business dinner. We had 7:00 pm tickets to KA so we did the pre dinner menu right at 5:00. Price Fixe at $38 for three courses. Also had filet there served with Wasabi crust and over some kind of starch as well (i forget). Appetizer was steamed won tons with veggie filling and dessert was Mango sorbet with fresh berries and mandarin oranges. All were very well executed, presented and tasty. Interestingly they have a wall of opium pipes - replicas of those used in early 20th century China. Looks cool and colorful but I found it strange that they would highlight such a grim piece of China's history - the Opium wars AND place it right next to a giant statute of Buddha. Only in Vegas I supposed outloud.

Ka - Quite interesting. A buddy of mine had told me in advance that he fell asleep during the show. I can see how it could happen since there was no dialogue and a couple of "scenes" dragged a little. However I had never seen a Cirque production so I found it quite remarkable and over the top with the moving stage and all. You have to love this country. You come up with an over the top idea and the free market will reward you like no where else earth. I caught Guy Laliberte on the poker show and he seems like a really down to earth guy as well. Anyway I had got the tickets at half price booth for $85 and we had great seats so I thought it was worth the money.

That's about it. Gambling wise I mainly played some VP and won about $100 then lost it all on roulette plus another $60. Not a big gambler but if there were more 9/6 JOB I suspect I would be. Only found two machines - both at the Palms. Of course I did not go to any other off strip properties. I would like to try that next trip out.

Other observations - Wynn is pretty impressive. Did not make it down to Encore. Always go to Mandalay for the beauty watching, the atmosphere and the live music at Blues club or whatever it's called. THis time the beauty watching was great but the overall crowd was down the no good music at the blues club.

I would say overall there are still a lot of people going out to Vegas but not so many dropping dough at the tables. Saw tons of empty tables in all the casino's even at peak hours. Something's gotta give pretty soon I think. Even Palms was pretty empty and no lines at any of the clubs.

Overall I had a great time and hope to go back for more days next time and just for leisure.

thanks for reading - hope I did not bore anyone.