We flew Southwest Airlines non-stop from Indianapolis with no problems and enjoyed using my free drink coupons. My wife and I arrived on time and checked into the MGM while still at the airport which I highly recommend instead of waiting in line at the hotel. We got a great deal for a Celebrity Spa Suite for $80 a night which also included a $35 dining credit.
We enjoy the MGM although I seem to see a fair number of complaints about it. The pool complex and lazy river were great. I suspect on busy weekends the lazy river could get a little trashed later in the day but we didn't see it happen while we were there. High pool drink prices (what do you expect??), but they would basically let you bring anything into the pool area as long it wasn't glass.
While at MGM,we tried the BBQ shrimp at Emerils and used our $35 credit towards sushi and the fancy sushi place (can't remember the name. Both places were quite good, but also quite pricy. Our suite was a fantastic deal. Comfy King size bed, cool jacuzzi in the bathroom, nice living space area with table and couch. Clean and well maintained with a Strip view. As far as gambling, I played a little craps and some Poker and finished up about $75 at the MGM.
For our "Big Night Out" we ate at TAO in the Venetian and saw Blue Man Group. The food and service at TAO were both very good. We were seated in a timely manner, actually a few minutes before our reservation at 9:30pm. We had "dressed the part" for our fancy meal and had a good time. Don't show up to a nice restaurant wearing jeans and a t-shirt people! One thing that was a surprise to us was how LOUD the restaurant was. The music was thumping from the TAO nightclub that was upstairs I believe and it was actually hard to talk to each other during dinner. It was ok because it was Vegas, but really a little too loud for us in our mid 30's :)
Blue Man Group was OK, although I much preferred "O" and Mama Mia that we had seen during previous visits. I think kids would really like Blue Man Group. As a side note, the Venetian is really showing it's age and wear. It does not seem to be maintained anyway near to the level of The Bellagio for instance. I think the bean counters at Harrah's are trying to be cheap with the Venetian and the place is showing it. It looked much worse than just a few years ago when I was there.
I was in charge of "Cheesy Vegas Day" which actually turned out to be maybe the funnest day we had and was the least expensive. It started by checking into the Imperial Palace for our last day in Vegas (I'll get to the IP later.....) First we caught "Big Elvis" performing at Bill's Gambling Hall. It was great and free! Get there a little early to get a seat in the lounge and order some $1 Margaritas! While at Bill's we won $40 playing craps which was ufn also. Part two of our day was visiting the Peppermill Fireside Lounge, which is near the Riviera. It as great too. It is a classic, old-school vegas lounge. We sat by the boiling water caldron with a burning flame in the middle of it. The servers wear black, long dresses which fit the part and sit down tableside or fireside while they take your order or deliver drinks. It was a very cool atmosphere and we loved it. Highly recommended.
Now to the Imperial Palace.... I knew what I was getting into when I booked it, so we just had fun with it. I admit, I went cheap and got a $46 room for a Friday night (our last night) instead of staying that the MGM and paying the inflated weekend prices. Our room was on the 4th floor directly above the pool which was extremly loud with thumping music and screaming pool volleyball players. Kinda funny actually. What wasn't so funny was the hair still in our linens upon our arrival. It took a while for them to arrive with new linens. The bathroom was pretty nasty, especially the tub/shower. The casino itself was a fun, cheesy atmosphere. One of the dealertainers was a PERFECT Michael Jackson and he performed "Thriller" about once an hour which seemed strange. Anyways, I gave all of my winnings plus another $80 back to the IP poker room and craps table, but it was fun.
One last thing. I could NOT find one single blackjack table on the Strip that paid 3/2 on blackjack. They are ALL 6/5 now. Terrible.