This was about as economical a trip as my wife and I will ever do to Las Vegas, "not counting the gambling". We signed up for Southwest Airlines Rapid rewards VISA Credit Card, and after we spent our first $3000 against the card we got 50,000 free air miles, and we used about 35,000 to fly from St. Louis to Las Vegas. We stayed in our Hilton Grand Vacations time share for probably the last time, as after 20 years we are selling our interest back to Hilton. We had 7000 points and tried to sell it for $10,900 through an internet business for 2 months without success, so I asked HGVC if they bought back properties and was pleasantly surprised when they said they did and offered us $11,950, which we promptly accepted. The deed is being processed and we expect our check in the next 2 weeks. We have heard so many horror stories of people basically giving their time share back for free just to get out of the yearly fees. That was why we got out, as our yearly maintenance fees had grown to $850, and with me now retired it was just too large an expense to keep paying with our infrequent use at HGVC facilities and the high fees charged when we transferred our points to RCI.
This was a Saturday afternoon to Tuesday morning trip arranged to meet a schedule that our daughter from Omaha, Neb. wanted. She had her own 1 bedroom unit similar to our at no additional "cost" other than points used. She arrived a couple of hours before us and was already down a bit playing slots at Flamingo when we arrived. We had a good flight from St. Louis and arrived about 2 and caught a cab to the HGVC ($15.60) which I gave the cabbie $20. He was very pleasant and one of the few Anglo-American white drivers still in the city. We got a quick check in and met up with daughter, went to lunch in the Flamingo, then started losing money on "Penny" slots for most of 3 days. I cashed 1 ticket of $90 for the trip and ended up about $500 down on slots. I lost another $100 playing Keno, but won about $210 playing 3 Card Poker Sunday night and Monday night. So overall I lost less than $400 of the $900 I took. I have done much worse. My wife lost somewhere around $700, but she plays a lot more and higher amounts on those Penny slots than I do. She had a few nice wins, but a lot more losses. My daughter's losses were never divulged to me, but she lost a sizable amount even though she cashed 1 ticket for $360 and another for $120. We ate a various places on the trip but nothing too expensive. The largest bill I paid was about $60 including tip. They are building a new Ferris Wheel right behind the Flamingo which is supposed to be the largest in the world, and it will have large "balls" to ride in. They will probably be air conditioned given the hot temperatures that occur so much of the year. It was about 100 degrees each day of our trip, and I have to say the "dry" heat is still hot. I do not see how the homeless people that you see sitting around on the sidewalks and pedestrian bridges can survive in that climate. We saw the usual contingent of Hispanics handing out the smut cards along the sidewalks, but the amount of trash along the sidewalks seemed less than I've seen before.
We did make the obligatory trip downtown on the "Deuce" but only went to Binion's and Golden Nugget. I lost in both. Took the bus back down the strip to Mandalay Bay, then lost there, at Luxor, at New York NY, and at Excaliber before making our way back to Flamingo for our last meal on Monday. Overall we visited and contributed at 18 different casinos.
Final comments -
Good things - cheap air cost, nice rooms, decent food (and did not get sick as I did on my reported trip of 2/2012), good hands at 3 card poker, street entertainers who are pretty talented, decent night's sleep all 3 days, large assortment of Penny slots that have all kinds of neat features.
Bad things - tight slots, hot temperatures, tight slots, busy sidewalks, tight slots, homeless people lining the pedestrian bridges, 30 minute delay in departing flight while SW maintenance replaced a broken seat in the plane. Penny slots with neat features that you never get to see because THE SLOTS ARE SO TIGHT.
Strange things - parents who have their babies on the street at all hours of the night, street entertainers wearing diapers or being painted from head to toe in gold paint, construction sites sitting idle where Millions have been spent.
Sorry if this report is too long, but I like to be detailed and I may not be back to LV for awhile to have another adventure to report.