2 friends and myself left the 16th for our annual trip to Las Vegas.
This is an annual trip that started 8 years ago and one we look forward to each year. Anywhere from 3-5 make the trip each year but 3 of us go every year.

FLIGHT
Left Dayton early monday morning for our 8:00 am flight out of Indianapolis($229.00) on Southwest Airlines. I haven't been to the Indy airport in a few years but the new entry and parking into the new terminal is easily accessible. Arrived in Vegas around 9:30 and went to the rental car center and picked up our car from Dollar ($102.00 for 4 days). Dodge compact wasn't much but it got us around.

HOTEL
We always stay at The Orleans and this time my 2 friends had received an offer for a slot tournament held on tuesday. We had 3 nights for $99 that included entry for 2 in the slot tournament and a few other free buffets and match play coupons thrown in.

FOOD
We always begin our trip by eating at The In-Out Burger. We have a double burger "animal style" with fries and a shake.

Our other annual dinner is always at the Redwood Grille at The Californian. They still have the Porterhouse Special (16 oz. steak, potato, salad, vegetable, and apple dumpling w/ice cream for $17.99.
This is still one of the best kept secrets in Vegas. It sure beats the $30-40 dollar steaks you pay for at the fancy places on the strip. If you go make sure to make reservations.

Other meals we mainly eaten at the Orleans Buffet, Courtyard Cafe (they still have the breakfast graveyard specials for 2.99-3.99 from midnight - 6 am.),and Big Al's Oyster bar (the best clam chowder in Vegas for only 6.99 a bowl that is almost too big to eat all of it although I managed to do so.). It was also good to see that the hot dog cart is back daily at the Orleans sportsbook. All beef dogs for $1.00.

GAMBLING
I played close to 18 hours in the Orleans Poker room and managed to come out ahead by a few hundred dollars. You also get compted $1.25 for every hour of play and I paid for 2 of my meals from this. Also the cocktail service is great. Make sure you tip them well especially Jill.

Did well playing double deck blackjack ($300) and I won around ($50) making college basketball bets in the sportsbook. I love going down to the sportsbook in the morning for around an hour and figuring out my daily bets and then returning later to watch the games. It is great having games start at 4:00 and being over by 10:00.

The only negative gambling came playing 3 card poker(-200). I could not hit anything while on of my buddies hit for over $1000 our first day there.

My 2 friends both placed in the top 100 of the slot tourney and each received $50 in free play. The Orleans really runs a nice tournament and they had a large turnout.

NEW SIGHTS
Drove over to the new Aliente Station Casino over by the Las Vegas Speedway. This is a new Station's casino and resembles the Red Rock in may ways but a little smaller. It was a little out of the way but is one of the nicer local off strip casino's and would be great place to stay if you were going to an event at the Speedway.

OTHER OBSERVATIONS
Took a walk from the Mirage down to Mandalay Bay and back on Tuesday
and you could tell that the crowds were down some as I walked along the strip. Most of the dealers I talked to confirmed this.

They are still working on the Town Centre Complex and there is a lot to do before this is ever completed. It was hard to tell where the section that is to open soon is??? We did notice that a couple of construction projects seemed to have been shut down such as the one at the old Stardust site.

The weather was sunny and in the high 50's except for rain on Monday.
Much better that the cold and snow we have been having in Ohio.

The Orleans has added a Fudruckers, Sabarro, Baskin Robbins, and a Rocky Mountain Chocolate to the food court area by Subway. The have closed the old Terrible Mikes (where you use to be able to get the best greasy hamburgers in town.)

Flight back to Indy left on time and we made it back in a little over 3 hours.

All 3 of us came home winners and we had a great time. We don't usually plan too much out of the ordinary and our main purpose is to mainly gamble as much as we can and to have a few good meals at our old favorites, so this report may have been boring for those of you who like to party, eat at the fancy places, and go to the shows and clubs. For those who would like to see Vegas return to the way it use to be this report is for you.

I am presently in the planning stages for a return trip in mid May before it gets too hot with my wife. She likes to stay on the strip and we have received some good offers from Harrah's.

VIVA LAS VEGAS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!