2013 Las Vegas Trip Reports
Stayed at Golden Nugget May 02, 2013 to May 05, 2013
- Category: 2013
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This is more a gambling trip report than just about the Nugget. For those only interested in the Nugget, I was in a Parlor Suite there. Very nice room on the 15th floor. No view at all but not sure what sort of view you can get downtown. I was on the backside of the building which was good so I didn't have the noise from the Fremont Street Experience. The actual room was basically 2 rooms joined together. Both rooms were dark but this is really my only somewhat negative feedback. On the room on the right, there was a large flat screen tv, wet bar and fridge and a bathroom with a shower stall. There was also a couch, small table etc. The 2nd room on the left was the bedroom with an ensuite bathroom. The bed was one of the most comfortable I've ever slept in anywhere. The room had robes and slippers, which I did not partake in. Another large flat screen tv and a soaker Jacuzzi tub. There was a sink in the bathroom with another one just outside. Again, this room was dark as well. Air conditioner units were the old style ones under the windows, but this is an older hotel. One other annoyance was that every time I was in the elevator heading down, it always stopped on the 2nd floor. Apparently this is where the Golden Nugget offices were. Even if there wasn't anyone going to that floor it still stopped! The housekeepers also used the guest elevators to move between floors. Overall, I would definitely stay here again. Great location, relatively inexpensive large rooms and right in the middle of Fremont. I'll preface that with I've been going to Vegas for about 12 years and this is the first time I've ever stayed downtown. If you want the rest of my trip report, please read below. Thursday May 2nd Woke up bright and early around 5:30am. This was my 4th day in Salt Lake City, where I’d travelled to Monday for a work trip. I left the new offices early; about noon MT and headed to the gas station to fill up my rental Nissan Frontrunner and then pick up my suitcase from the hotel, which I checked out of in the morning. I was back on the road and at the airport by 1pm. I’d booked a first class ticket with Delta, which was reasonably affordable plus I get bonus miles so makes it worth the while. Also like the comfort and complimentary stuff you get. Flight was pretty uneventful. I had a whisky/coke for my pre-take off drink and then a beer on the flight. The service was sub-par compared to usual. This is a very fast flight; about 50 minutes usually and this was even faster. The flight attendant spent most of the flight in the back talking to some pilots that must have been relocating to get flights from Vegas. Landed and had my bag in no time. Checked a bag for free and it was Priority so it was one of the first off the plane. A nice perk of travelling often. Hop in the cab line-up outside and absolutely no line! Get a nice driver and I decide that I would go to the Strip to see my brother first, before heading downtown to check into the Golden Nugget. I got dropped off at Paris, where he was staying with his wife and was there at about 4:30pm. I had to wait about 20 minutes for him to get a hold of me and meet up; guess he was down at Bally’s doing some gaming. I waited inside the casino playing a slot machine and lost $60 in about 15 minutes. We met up and grabbed a beer and caught up. I hadn’t see him since January. Went and dropped my stuff off in his room and we headed back to Bally’s to gamble some more. His wife was at her conference until later in the evening so we wanted to stay around to hang out after. At Bally’s, we played some 3 card poker ($10). This game can win alot of money for you fast or it can clean you out. I’d talked my brother into playing it last time we were in Vegas, which I think was early October, and within his first few hands he had 3 of a kind and was paid out several hundred bucks. Ever since then, he wants to play it. Well, the same thing happened this time. Sat down and he won again. For me, I got cleaned out of a few hundred in a period of a couple of hours probably. The trip wasn’t starting off well, gambling wise. Went over to Planet Hollywood and grabbed and Earl of Sandwich. Always delicious. Think we went back and had some more drinks at Paris and then met up with his wife around 8:30pm. I was wanting to head downtown to get checked into my room at the Nugget and also meet up with the ‘Meet’ people. Took the $25 cab ride from Paris to Golden Nugget (a theme this trip...) and got checked into the Nugget. I hadn’t been downtown in probably 10 years from what I can remember. Last time I was down there was to go to the Ice House bar which a friend was a part owner of. It’s got it’s own personality. Very busy for a Thursday night. Fremont is alive with a ton of partiers. Anyways, I’d booked a Parlor Suite, which is a 1 bedroom suite there. Very nice room; it was basically 2 rooms with a door in between them. One of the rooms was the bedroom, which had a bathroom and a spa soaker tub and big TV. The other room had a couch, chair, table, wet bar, fridge, and another bathroom that had a shower in it. My only complaint is the room was pretty dark; not enough lights in it. One of the most comfortable beds and pillows I’ve had anywhere though. After watching the Office...my brother and his wife wanted to see it..we finally headed down to the casino and I quickly went looking for friends I was meeting. I did a lap of the casino but didn’t find anyone so I texted a few people and found out they were at the Las Vegas Club (I think..little hazy here). I went looking for my brother and his wife but the Fremont street experience had them. Last I saw them, they were watching the show, then I looked away and they were gone. Headed down to the Las Vegas Club and met up with a bunch of people. It was a long day. Apparently I played some blackjack but I have no idea if I won or not. I don’t even remember cashing out or anything but I think I did. I wasn’t even drinking really; just spent I think. I also don’t remember what we did after this for the most part. A few of us went to some casino that had a ham, hash browns, toast deal. I had a decaf coffee with baileys. This was probably 3am or close it now. Anyways, we were all spent by this time so we headed back to our respective rooms. Friday, May 3 I didn’t really have any plans on this day but I was going to meet up with some friends again. This was all for not. My brother had suggested we go out to the gun range and shoot some guns, which seemed like it should be fun. I took a cab down to Bally’s (another $30) and walked from Bally’s, through Paris and down to MGM just for some exercise and to check out the Strip. Got a hold of my brother around 11am and we met up at Paris. We decided to grab some good first and did the lunch buffet at Todai Sushi in the Miracle Mile mall. Very tasty but not as good as the dinner. I think the bill came to close to $60 for the 2 of us and the lunch menu doesn’t have sashimi, prawns etc on it. Will wait and do the dinner next time for a little more. We grabbed a cab and started heading to the gun range (The Gun Store) that’s east on Tropicana. Another $30 cab ride and we’re there. Unfortunately, we get out of the cab, it leaves and we head in and there’s a 2 hour wait! This is probably about 1:30pm. We had initially decided to wait. After about 20 minutes, the line had not moved at all so we gave back our targets and left. We had to wait at least another 30 minutes for a cab outside. We had a good conversation with one of the employees that was now out in the parking lot telling people before they got out of their cabs about the wait. When our cab finally did show up, he actually seemed angry that the other cabby didn’t wait for us and the he didn’t take us to one closer to the Strip. Apparently there’s one just as good behind the Luxor somewhere. We got the cab to drop us off at the Excalibur. I think we were both a little sunstroked so we had some drinks along the way and just casino hopped. Nothing too interesting to report. We went in NYNY, Monte Carlo, Bellagio, City Center. Friday evening, we headed over the Cosmopolitan to hang out at the Vesper bar. The Canucks (I'm from Vancouver) were playing so we had a couple of drinks there and then headed to another bar that’s almost right beside it that shows some sports. I headed out at about 1am and went back to the Golden Nugget (another $30) and did some gaming in the casino there. No real luck but didn’t lose anything either. Saturday May 4th My last full day in Vegas so I wanted to make it count. Up to this point, I’d still spent most of my time on the Strip and I wanted to fully experience downtown. Experience I did! I think I hit pretty much every casino on Fremont. I grabbed some food at the lunch (maybe breakfast) buffet at Golden Nugget. It was ok but quite expensive. Came to about $20 including the tip. The buffets on the Strip are definitely better. My first hit was at the Golden Nugget. I grabbed a Starbucks from inside the casino and then sat down at a penny slot that looked interested. Next thing I know, I hit it for a $166 progressive. My first decent win of the trip. A few spins later, I got the bonus round again and won the smallest progressive on it, which I think was about $18. I quickly cash out and then head onto the next casino. I believe I was in the Plaza when I saw a Jackpot Party machine. Well, that was my dad’s favorite slot machine so I figured I’d put some money in and see what happens. I got a Super Jackpot Party bonus and kept saving myself when I’d get a ‘pooper’ that ends the bonus game. I ended up winning $144 on that. Spent some time in La Bayou, a hole in the wall casino that actually still has nickel slots. It seriously pays out in actual nickels. I almost fell over. When the cocktail girl asked what I wanted to drink, I asked for a Miller, which seemed to be all they had. I got a couple of bucks out to tip and then she came back with a draft! I didn’t know that existed anymore either; I haven’t seen draft since the Barbary Coast. I tipped her a couple of bucks, which kept them coming and by this time, I could feel a headache coming on. Went to ABC and got some real beers to get rid of the headache. I was getting sick of cabbing to the Strip at this point so I hopped on the Deuce after wondering around a while to find it. 2 hour pass was $6. Not a bad deal considering what a cab costs. If it was cooler outside that day, I probably would have actually walked it. It’s only about 3 miles to the strip. I got off in front of Caesars and walked the rest of the way to Paris to meet my brother. We had some beers and just relaxed from what I remember. We wanted to play some craps so we found a $10 table. I think this was at Paris. I couldn’t lose on this table. Even when I was rolling the dice. I bought in for $100 and cashed out for about $400 after a couple of hours. Fun table! He had to go off and do something so I played on the electronic craps machine for a while and went on another run, doubling my money in about an hour ($100 up to $200). We went over to Pinks at Planet Hollywood and grabbed some dogs. I think mine was called a ‘3 dog night’. It was awesome! Then we went back for more craps but the table was now $15. A little steep but I was riding the high from the last session. This was the best session I’ve seen. A pretty empty table with maybe 6 people at it. Well, nothing much is happening, just breaking even when my brother gets the dice. He rolls for probably about 10 minutes and hits the point a few times. I’d been teaching him to take at least 1* odds on the pass line and play the 6/8 on the field. I was playing a little more risky and was also playing the 5/9 when I could. He craps out and then the dice come to me. I honestly rolled for about 40 minutes. I was hitting pretty much every number and getting paid each time. About 5 minutes into my roll, a big shot comes in and takes a marker for $5000. He’s playing hundreds on the field numbers and pressing them. By the time all was said and done, I had a row and a half in the rack in front of me full of reds and greens and some $1 chips. I ended up several hundred on this session as well. My brother was a little less but also way head. The guy that took the marker was a crazy roller as well and rolled for probably 20 minutes. After his roll, he cashed out for about $15,000 from looking at the yellows he had. By this time, it was 10:30pm and I head downtown. The Golden Gate had a promo where they gave you a ticket to guess the winner of the Kentucky Derby, everytime you got a blackjack. I had enough to cover every horse and a few of them twice including the winner. As I’m waiting on a cab at the Paris valet, there’s a guy that’s in a wheelchair with a bunch of security and he’s vomiting all over himself. Then the firetruck shows up...then the ambulance. I’ve never seen the firemen put a bag around a guys head to catch vomit...interesting. I got downtown in no time. Ended up doing some gaming at the Nugget but didn’t have much luck. I managed to hold onto most of my winnings though. Sunday May 5 Woke up early again and just relaxed in the room. I had to check out pretty early and was trying to sync up with my brother and his wife for a last hang out. My flight back to Salt Lake was at 5pm so I had a bunch of time. I’m checking my flight information for that flight and I notice I have a 10 MINUTE connection time in Salt Lake. I call Delta Customer Support and spent about 30 minutes talking with them about what I can do. They tried to put me on standby on an earlier flight that left around 1:30pm but she couldn’t do it. She told me there was no way I’d make my flight in Salt Lake unless I got on the earlier flight, so I grabbed my bag and headed straight for the airport. From what I remember, the fare was about $35. Get into the airport and check in with Delta. It takes her about 15 minutes but she gets me onto standby on the earlier flight. I was supposed to be first class on my later flight and from what she said, I should be on this one as well as there were still quite a few seats left. I get to the gate and see the upgrade list (which I’m not on for some reason) and then the standby list, which I’m #1 on out of about 15 people. Having some frequent flyer status does help. The flight starts boarding and they’re calling zones. Then I notice that names on the standby list below me are disappearing and getting seat assignments. As I’m waiting to talk to the gate agent, about 4 more names go away. I ask why they’re bypassing me and he says ‘oh, I have your boarding pass right here’. I look at it and it’s my seat and pass for the 5pm flight! I wanted to lose it on him but I didn’t. He managed to get me on the flight in a middle seat at the back of the plane. I was pretty much the last person to board. The flight was actually pretty good and I had a 3 hour layover in SLC so I grabbed some Cafe Rio (Mexican burrito) for breakfast, although now it was 4pm. My flight from SLC boarded at 7:30pm and we were back in Austin at midnight Sunday. I had to wait a few minutes for my bag, again one of the first bags off so that’s nice, then a 30 minute drive back to my apartment. Unfortunately, I had to be in at work at 8am for some meetings that morning so not much sleep. EPILOGUE Since getting back, I complained to Delta about the issue with the ticket. They resolved it extremely fast and very satisfactorily. They gave me a $200 voucher and refunded the difference between the economy ticket I flew and the first class ticket I’d booked. I did like downtown but I can only see it working if everyone is staying downtown that I plan on spending time with. I still love the Strip but the saving grace for the Nugget was there’s an ABC right next door. That and cheaper drinks (like $5.50 for a crown royal and coke). That’s more like $10 on the Strip if not more. All in, I did very, very well on this trip. NEXT TRIP - End of July Booked the Palazzo. They sent me an offer for 5 free nights, 2 slot tournaments, a meet and greet with Vanna White and 2 tickets to a Wheel of Fortune taping.