Friday, July 24, 2020

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

The WAX Koval stop. Is it convenient?

Here is an excellent thread on the WAX stop that is positioned after the airport and before the NYNY stop.
Good information here.  Probably more to yet to come.

http://www.vegasmessageboard.com/forums/showthread.php?107698-WAX-question&p=975664#post975664

Monday, June 23, 2014

OpenVegas

Those of you who have been avoiding this site due to the emotional disturbed moderator might like to know that Gene is gone and replaced by Rhoda, a most wonderful woman.  Give the site a second chance.

http://www.openvegas.com/

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Bill Fayne

Here is a clip from the latest Claire Voyant   newsletter.
Odd she did not mention his work at Toast of the Town at Sam's Town which I see everytime  I am in Vegas.


On Thursday, the 12th, the June gathering of the F.I.O.R.E. (Fun Italians Organizing Ridiculous Events) folks will take place at the Italian American Club, 2333 East Sahara Avenue. The special guest speaker for this month will be Bill Fayne. Bill has been musical director of more than 50 theater productions, operas, and television shows over the past 40 years, and has appeared as guest conductor with the Atlanta, Georgia; Buffalo, New York; Columbus, Ohio; and Delaware Symphony Orchestras. As an arranger, he has worked with Clint Holmes, Suzanne Somers, Gloria Loring, Ann Jillian, Hal Linden, Mickey Rooney, and Kathie Lee Gifford. Bill's TV credits include various Bob Hope specials, Dick Clark productions, The Tonight Show, The Joan Rivers Show, and many others. His musical association with Clint spans 33 years, and their friendship goes back to college where they first met. They have traveled the world, making music, creating shows, and sharing wonderful experiences. Together, Bill and Clint have created production revues for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, as well as their recent and current shows in Las Vegas. They appeared at Harrah's Las Vegas from 2000 thru 2006. Bill spent 10 summers in Monte Carlo as Music Director of the famed Sporting Club. He conducted and co-created (with Jean-Pierre Reggiori) 16 shows for full orchestra, and a cast of 25 singer/ dancers. In past years, he has written the theme song for the NBC TV series, Jennifer Slept Here and Ann Jillian, and has composed music and written special material for the stage and television. He has been involved as either musical director, production director or creator of award-winning stage shows in Atlantic City and Las Vegas, as well as internationally. Bill is currently performing around the world with the group he created called Voices 3 Las Vegas. In the past two years, he has produced and Musical Directed Les Miserables, Company, Putting It Together, It's a Grand Night for Singing, A Love Story, Showstoppers, Guys and Dolls, Bill Fayne & Friends Celebrate Rodgers and Hart & Hammerstein Too!, Bill Fayne & Friends Celebrate Stephen Sondheim, Bill Fayne & Friends Celebrate The Golden Age of Movie Musicals, and The Book of Merman. He continues to create new shows and performances in Vegas and across the United States. In addition to Bill Fayne sharing show business stories with the group, the afternoon attendees are also treated to a great buffet, live music by Gary Anderson and the Malcontents and camaraderie with interesting people. The cost of all this fun and food is $25 per person (cash or check only - no credit cards). Doors to the IAC open at 11:30 a.m. RSVPs to Nonclubclubfiore@aol.com are a must. The non-club club F.I.O.R.E. is not for everyone. Before committing yourself to any of the events, it is suggested that you visit: http://nonclubclubfiore.com/about-u/. CAPISCE?
As for busy Bill Fayne, on Saturday, June 14th, it's Fayne & Friends presenting The Book of Merman at the happening Viva Las Vegas Event Center. Ethel Merman was the last of her kind: a grand talent with equally immense vehicles to showcase her clarion voice and impeccable comic timing. Merman sang into her mid seventies. In her sixties she performed here at the Flamingo Hotel. It was like a happy earthquake had hit Las Vegas. Fayne's show recreates the music from Merman's Las Vegas show, and recalls stories and the great music spanning her long illustrious career. Created by Bill Fayne, in addition to him being at the piano and singing some of those iconic songs, the upcoming production of The Book of Merman will feature two different and equally talented 'Ethels'...Kellie Wright and Jimmy Emerson. The show time is from 8 to 11:30 p.m., followed by Celebrity Open Mic. The doors open at 7 for cocktails, with tickets priced at $15 online at vivalasvegaseventcenter.com, or at the door. A varied and reasonably priced dinner and appetizer menu is available. The Viva Las Vegas Event Center is located on the Strip at 1201 Las Vegas Blvd. So. Call (702) 384-0771.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Why I stay downtown

I stay downtown because staying there is key to designing a frugal trip.
I generally gamble only when I will get more than my winnings in food or rooms or some added benefit.  This turns the adage, "don't gamble for comps" on its head.  I generally only gamble when there will be comps added to my score. 
For example, I often play using a coupon for a free buffet after 200 earned points at the Gold Coast or Sam's or wherever it is offered.  Last trip. VP play at Eastside Cannery earned free buffets.  All of my play is on machines with full pay tables. 
Even 8-5 Bonus poker is off my menu unless it is at the D when the progressives are up. 
My Orleans play is a 9/7 DB nickel three play with progressives on each royal line and I try to do that on Senior day for added freebies, including a free buffet.
If I gamble when I have the edge and also comps added to it, there is no mathematical reason not to be an all day gambler, because over the long run the casino is not grinding me;  I'm grinding them.
Live poker depends on who sits down at the table.
My negative play games will be so low as to be unimportant and done just for amusement or perhaps because I'm thirsty.  I might play the $10 freeplay  at El Cortez (ACG coupon) on a penny machine and play a penny on 3 lines just for the fun of it. 
I might end a bad day of real gambling at the nickel roulette machine at the 4 queens playing no more than a quarter a spin in a pattern that reduces volatility. 
I did that for a couple hours last trip, recklessly losing 80 cents.
Live Poker sometimes takes me to strip places like the Venetian or Mirage or Monte Carlo for their good limit games.  There comps don't factor in.  I'm just hoping for good table selection, some of the its-only-money crowd who don't usually find their way to a Golden Nugget game. 
Key to my trips is the 4 Queens practice of 3 night comps with weekends included as an option.  After plane fare, I find covering weekend hotel rates is the next largest expense.  When I was working, I just went Sunday to Friday, or at most Sunday through one weekend and then out on Friday to limit the impact of weekend rooms on my budget.
Now I go for 20-25 nights at a stretch, getting good value from my plane fare.
If I patch my 2 for 1 D comps with 4 Queens 3 night weekend, I can get a nice stretch of nights  where checking in and out is quicker and easier than changing rooms in most large casinos. Usually, I get in one room before I have to leave the other, so I don't even have to pack too carefully, but can make a few short trips.
For example, if I get to go on my next trip, I'm looking at 14 nights for under $100 total doing that.  To do that I have to plan a trip that straddles a calendar month and get a monthly room comp in two months or manage to catch some other deal like a 4 Queens slot tournament which does not count against my monthly mailer comp.  I can only do that downtown.
So the frugality puts me downtown for a good portion of my trips and for almost all of my serious gambling. 
The Four Queens gives these comps based on playing full pay DB with a progressive, a paytable in my favor, and adding freeplay to that.  So most of my gambling bankroll for a trip is concentrated there.
The D gives the 2 for 1 for moderate play at the Veu bar 8/5 Bonus poker machines with progressives on cheap quads, straight flushes, and the royal. I generally try to focus my play when the quad progressive is up and play until it is hit.  Nearby is a little nickel coin dropper of full pay Deuces.  I play that inbetween.
I also like playing live poker where I can have an advantage at some tables, some of the time.  The Golden Nugget has a limit 2-4 game that will earn me $10 for food the day I play.  They double the high hand bonus awards from 2 am until 10 am.  So rather then an all day gambler, I am often an all night gambler.  Perhaps I've gone to bed at 5 PM, gotten up near 2 AM and played until it was time for my breakfast and a good morning nap. 
Last trip quad jacks paid me $600 in the double bonus time. 
That was a good hit.
Playing downtown in those early morning hours gave me an extra $300.  And that $600 ended up being equal to my profit for that trip in just gambling score.
Downtown is also a hub for those of us who use the bus in Vegas.  At the Walgreen's there I can buy a 15 day pass for $17 or a 30 day pass for $34.  This then gets me anywhere I want to go on any bus in the system and back to the airport as well. 
So I am not limited to downtown just because I stay there.  I can easily ride up to the strip for shows or to just walk the casinos and because I am on a bus, the walking is much less because I can target my strip destination. 
I can also go out Boulder for entertainment or other advantaged gambling.
I can go out to Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station.
I can ride fairly quickly now to Sunset Station and even to Fiesta Henderson.
I can ride out to the Suncoast.
All of these places are much more accessible from downtown than from any strip or off strip location.
And the WAX makes downtown a comfortable and fast ride from the airport and back again at the end of the trip.  I might have to wait a bit for the WAX when I head downtown depending on the plane arrival.  But going back, I only have to wait a few minutes at Binions and I'm off and to the airport.
Many trips I add in inexpensive or free shows.  MyVegas has given me free tickets to great shows.  Comedy is often cheap or free (watch out for SinCity.  I think that is a rip off)  Sam's Town has a free review that is each Thursday afternoon and different every week.  Eastside Cannery has a great Monday night Latin lounge act that can be seen for one beer a set and the beer costs $1.50.
I used to add into the value of a Vegas trip about $40 to $50 in free alcohol each day, but my drinking is now radically altered so most of my drinking is Perrier and perhaps one beer or a couple glasses of red wine a day.
So, after building a frugal trip, I take the difference between what little it costs me to live, eat and get around Vegas and what a similar stay might cost in any other vacation place.  That becomes my gambling  bankroll.  So in one sense, if I lose everything I use as gambling money, I break even because it is "saved" money either as comps or bargains.
There is a huge difference between downtown in the daylight hours and downtown in the dark.  Under the canopy at night is an amazing experience in entertainment, much like a street festival.  I usually try to escape it during the day if I am not gambling.  I like VP in the early morning when no one else is there, but the place itself before the lights are on seems dull to me.  I look for other adventures or sleep to prepare for an all nighter.
My next trip I plan to catch 2 free nights at the Orleans and then fill in a weekend with MyVegas comps.  We'll see if I can score those.  Even if resort fees are charged, those 5 nights will cost me perhaps $80.

I also might add a Sunday - Friday stretch of nights at some casino where I won't gamble.  I may not gamble that entire week, but just take the bus around to places I'd like to see.  My next trip I hope to do that in a suite at Arizona Charlie's,  a king bed in a bedroom and a separate room with couch and television.  This costs $160 total, or $32. 
I used to do that for a couple nights at the El Cortez on an ACG coupon, but now the resort fee spoils that deal.
So I don't stay downtown all the trip, but I don't stay on the strip either. except as MyVegas lets me.  During those MyVegas nights I probably won't gamble unless I like the tables at the Monte Carlo spread limit game.  I used to when CET offered good deals for poker players, but the resort fee broke those bargains and the increased poker rakes and decreased bonus opportunities pushed me out of their poker rooms.

Friday, April 11, 2014

GOLDEN GATE ROOM CHOICES

Here is the best recent thread on the Golden Gate. 
I stayed there long before the renovation
http://vegasbirthdaybash.blogspot.com/2008/05/trip-report-snippet-on-hotels.html
and liked the feel of the 1930's that the place had.
I doubt I would stay there again, but this sure gives the options.

http://www.vegasmessageboard.com/forums/showthread.php?t=104993

Here is a visual tour

http://blonde4ever.yuku.com/topic/10215/Golden-Gate-room-tour

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Why be an advantage player

Sit down at a quarter 9/6 Double Bonus at the Orleans, the ones that used to be 10/7. Bring a pad of paper and a pencil. Every time you hit a flush or a full house, put a slash on the paper to keep track.

and so on.

Just play for a few hours.
Whether you are lucky or not, when you quit, multiply the total number of slashes by $1.25.

Or if you prefer, group four slashes together and don't do the 5 stoke across, but just leave space and then each group is exactly a $5 tip to the casino.  So, here the player has tipped the casino $15:

////       ////        ////

Whether you won or lost, even if you hit three royals, the total amount of slash mark money is what you tipped the casino for the privilege to play that session. Compared to what you would have gotten a few years ago, they have short paid you that much money and luck had nothing to do with it. Compared to the exact same luck at the 10/7 DB machines at the Four Queens, you have lost $15 extra dollars being short paid.
Sometimes the casino is lucky and sometimes they are not, but if they can get you to tip them like this, they make a good bit of profit on every session of play.  What was a coin flip game now is not much different from a slot machine grind.

And notice that there is no long term necessary to experience this difference.
Generally, had you not tipped the casino that amount of money over a few hours of play, you would have enough for a nice steak dinner.

Think of full pay machines this way. A few hours of play earns you a steak dinner, whether you win or lose. Think of it as a built in comp.

Now, if you play the 10/7 at the back of the Four Queens, another comp will also come when you hit a royal. I guess I have hit three in the last ten years there. Because of the progressive (not paid for by the paytable, but an extra) I probably won over an extra $300. That was a bit long term, but playing that machine and getting lucky almost pays my entire airfare for a trip to Vegas.
Another built in comp.
And even the long term statistic is not millions of hands.

You have no control over being lucky or not. But playing a full pay table will make a difference in dollars and cents whether you win or lose, whether you are lucky or not. You will have perhaps a steak dinner for free or a round trip ticket for free, but you will have something given to you just for playing.

When I go to the grocery store, I use my SW credit card and that pays most of my airfares to Vegas.
Whether I am lucky and get a sale at the store, or unlucky and overpay, the comped air points are built in. Whether I buy a good piece of fish or one that has gone by, the comp points come regardless, and over the short time of a year the credit card has built into my "play" at buying groceries, my free air fare for Vegas.
Those who pay with cash subsidize my credit card benefits as do those who can't pay off the balance for free each month; those who play the poor pay tables in Vegas subsidize me with fountains, and castles, and free music. Some are lucky and some are not, but they all subsidize me by giving those extra tips to the casino.
As old Gherig used to say on the old Hack Attack board, "Somebody has to pay the light bill."

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Green Valley Ranch

Got a note today from an older couple who want to go to Green Valley Ranch on their next trip, starting from Caesar's.
Quote:
 
Dewey: I know your the godfather of the Las Vegas public transportation, so I have a question that you might be able to answer. My wife and I are planning a trip and staying (mostly comp) at Caesar's. We used to be downtown people but since we live close to AC ,Caesar's floods our mailbox in the winter with 5 and 10 times comp days. SO we tend to save our comps for Vegas and they usually will comp us 5 of our 6 or 7 nights. We've always wanted to trek out to Green Valley Ranch by bus. I looked at the map and am concerned about the transfer points for the 111. If you were making this trip which routes in your opinion are the easiest and safest to use. I think we're about the same age so I think you understand my question. Thank you in advance.

If I were going in daylight, I'd have no qualms at all to take the 202 to Pecos and the 111 to GV Ranch. Later at night, there can always be issues when we are at bus stops away from the strip, but I do it all the time, just not with luggage. There are generally people around and I have not been bothered except by the occasional panhandler.
I have taken the Pecos bus back when it would get me to the Pinball Hall of Fame. I remember one time a guy had a heart attack and died, so there was no bus for a long, long while. Other than that I never had an incident waiting for the Pecos.
From my reading of the map, all the 111 buses now go all the way to GV Ranch, but a few years back only some went all that way, so ask the bus driver to be certain when you board at Pecos.
If you decide instead to go out Tropicana, that is an easy stop as well, a very busy intersection at Pecos. You could then plan to have the most interesting haircut in Vegas, but call ahead to see that Cliff is ready for you.
http://vegasbirthdaybash.blogspot.co...rn-museum.html

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Great cheap food

Eastside Cannery does not have surcharge

I misread something I can't now find.
Damn!

Here is the fine letter I got from my letter of protest to them.

We have received your email and wanted you to know we do not have a $3.00 energy charge. Our rooms rates are only Room and tax per night. We also offer 2 free coffees, 2 free danishes, a newpaper and 2 free drinks coupons at checkin. If possible can you advise me where you received this information regarding a $3.00 energy charge?
If you would like you can contact me direct 702-856-5465 or email me.
I apologize for any confusion and would be more than glad to explain over the phone if needed
Have a great day
Shelli Weissman

Advice for those staying at Orleans

Friends of mine are going to Vegas and staying at the Orleans.  I wrote up all my thoughts and collected some links and when I was done, it seemed so detailed that I wanted to make it my new Orleans boilerplate.

Here it is:

*******************************************************************************************
ORLEANS


Here is what you can expect in your room.


Unlike most places, the rooms are very consistent at the Orleans, one being fairly much like another.  You can ask for a view.  You can get a Premium room and have one that has recently been remodeled.  I like to just zip up and down so I try to get floor 1-8  as there is one elevator for that and one for all the other floors.  I ask for quiet.
You do need to show a key to the guard before you get on the elevator.


All rooms have wifi in the room now as part of the higher resort fee ($10) a night.


There is also wifi in the Java coffee place right near the check in on the first floor.  You can even plug in there. So if someone needs to get out of the room in the morning and leave someone else sleeping, there is an alternative recreation to machines.
Coffee is available in the room.
*******************************************************************************************


TRANSPORTATION


There is the free shuttle running for most of the day.  It goes about every 20 minutes to the Gold Coast or the Strip or sometimes both.  It stops at the strip on Flamingo in back of Bally’s.
There is the 201 city bus that runs to the strip along Tropicana.  You need correct change, $2 each way.  The stop is just across the street on Tropicana.  Walk back to McMullens’ and cross at the light.  It stops at MGM and runs every 20 minutes.
Cabs are cheapest if you go from the Orleans to the Aria as long as the cabby does not long haul you.  It would be a simple ride to  the back of the Aria.  It was just $7 for us last November.
The cab caught at NYNY circle there on Tropicana just near the strip is cheap because it just has to go down Tropicana and it is at the Orleans.  Ask the price.  Some of the cabbies don’t like this short run and rip people off.  I’m guess it should be about $10 or so.  It should not be $20 as I have heard some pay.
Cabs in Vegas cannot be hailed on the street.  Go to any casino and get it there.


If you feel like exploring, there is a free tram inside the casino at Monte Carlo that does Aria and Bellagio.
There is a free tram just as you enter Excalibur that does Luxor and Mandalay Bay.


**********************************************************************************************
GAMBLING


Sign up for a Player’s Card and use it when you play as you can never tell what it might get you. It makes the buffet cheaper, and may give you  free room offers for your next visit just because you are new, even if your total gambling is not much.  Orleans is generous in comps, unlike strip properties.  The card is also good at the Gold Coast, the sister casino that you can visit by using that  free shuttle from the Orleans.  
Also, just having the card makes booking again on the B Connected site possible.  Some of the best room prices are there.
The shuttle also gets you to the strip, dropping behind Bally’s but it is a bit of a walk to the strip itself.  
If you are in the Orleans on a Wednesday, that is Young at Heart day and just a bit of play will get you  a free buffet that day.  There is also a drawing for cash.  Poker buddy Wild Bill won $350 once in one of those drawings.  You swipe your card in a kiosk after you play to put your virtual “tickets” in the “drum” and you get more tickets with more play.

Check back as every so often they change the day to Tuesday.


Check back closer to the time to see there are any promotions here


They don’t have the best VP in Vegas at the Orleans,  but it is much better than the strip. Their slots are better as well.  I’d save my gambling money for this casino and not gamble on the strip.
Before you leave, check again with the Player’s Club to see if you have any cashback.  You and Jimmy should play on the same card.
I’d suggest playing those nickel three plays as they are great fun, and they offer a royal progressive on each line, so no telling what you might hit.  The game is Double Bonus and pay table will have 9 in the full house and 7 in the flush.
There are just two banks of these in the casino.  To find one bank stand with your back to the Buffet entrance and walk to the other side of that area and down to the right.  The bank will be positioned perpendicular to the wall (with a corridor on each side)  perhaps five machines on each side.  It is very popular with the locals so it can fill up.   This is also a no smoking section.  When you play select the Double Bonus game that shows 9 for the full house and 7 for the flush.  You can use just a standard Jacks of Better Strategy or you can get  technical and print out a strategy sheet to bring in with you.   Here is the best strategy for Double Bonus games.  You can print out the pages and take them with you and pause for the harder decisions.  Some of the best plays are counterintuitive in this game and that is why it can survive in full pay.  




9/7 strategy is the same as 10/7 strategy.
Since 4 Aces pays so much, we split the two pair if one is Aces and hold three Aces  even if we have been dealt Aces full.


This site in general is the best site for all things mathematical on all games.  The fellow is a real genius and totally unconnected and just into pure mathematics.



There is another bank that allows smoking, but I can’t describe exactly where it is.  If you ask someone near that first bank, they can probably tell you. I only seek it out if there are no seats left at this one.


Here is the poker tutor I used and like on the site of the fellow who designed it.  I like too that they give great service if there are any issues.  It is fun to have at home to practice a little before you go because it will show you what the best plays are.  You can even punch in a complete hand and see what the best play it.


There is a free download to try that does not have all the features, but will give you a sense of the product.
Playing a good pay table and good strategy does not make you more lucky, but it does let you win more in a winning session and lose less in a losing one.


Do not play any DB Double Bonus in the Orleans casino that only pays 9 for the Full House and 6 for the Flush.   If you play single line quarters, you are better playing the DDB Double Double Bonus that has 9 for the full house and 6 for the flush because it pays twice as much as the Double Bonus on the high hands and the rest of the pay table is identical.  
In nickels 9/7 is good and the royal progressions make it better.
It is nice to have more fun on 75 cents a spin than we usually have on $1.25.
Always play full coin in VP because that is when the royal really pays off.  Playing one coin brings the payback math down quite a bit.


Another popular game is a Bonus Poker that will have 8 in the full house and 5 in the flush and still give you 2 for two pair.  This is the closest to Jack or Better at the Orleans.  Their Jacks of Better games are not good pay tables.


They have this all over, even in at the bars.


Craps and blackjack get good reports at the Orleans.  Just make sure in blackjack anywhere that they still pay 3/2 for the blackjack and not 6/5.  There are other rules to watch, but that is the big one.  6/5 games are a rip off.  The famous bumper sticker is:
“Friends don’t let friends play 6/5 Blackjack”


Some are intimidated by craps.  It looks complicated, but actually the best bet is the simplest bet and it is one of the best bets in the casino as well.  The game is fun to watch.  Just stand and watch until you see other people putting money on the Pass Line.  The dealer at this point will move a disc off the numbers.   Put the minimum there on the pass line.  That gets you in that session of rolls until either you win or lose.  
If you want an even better bet, you can add money to some of your bets once the point is established.  Just ask the dealer to tell you how much you can put down as a “Free Odds” bet and put that much behind your first bet.  Actually, on that money, the house has no advantage at all.  It is a coin flip bet and so reduces the house advantage of your entire bet.  You can only do this bet if you have a bet on pass line first.
Wizard of Odds can tell you more details on the game and there is a practice game on his site




Never play Keno. It is the worst bet in the house.


I don’t suggest playing live poker at the Orleans, but they do have an easy 2-4 limit game that won’t cost much.  However, locals come every day and are hard to beat and once I thought there was collusion.  Poker is determined by who sits at the table.  If either of you is interested in live poker, let me know and ask me some more questions.

************************************************************
FOOD
I like the Orleans buffet.  It is not as fancy as some on the strip, but cheap and good. Your Player’s card gets you a reduced price.  Sometimes with your room you have  $10 food credit.  This makes one lunch buffet on the cheap days.
If you are out and about, both Elizabeth and I liked the Aria buffet for fancier food.  Bellagio and Paris are very good.  The Cosmopolitan is reported to be good but very expensive.  Stay away from Luxor and Excalibur, and lately I’ve heard bad reports on MGM.  Ask me about others.


For variety you can always take the free shuttle to the Gold Coast for another cheap buffet.  Once there you can walk across the street to the Palms for a small but well reported buffet.




Al’s Oyster house gets good mention.  It is not on the menu, but I ask them to make me an oyster stew when I go.  Usually $11.  There are lots of other good  oyster things on the menu.
The Mexican gets good ratings.


The little Courtyard Cafe is fine for breakfast.  We like the oatmeal that can be ordered with a few toppings.  If you have been playing, have them take your points as part of the payment.  You might end up with a free meal.  Points used as food are more valuable than any used for cashback.


If you know you are going to be in the Orleans for the whole day and evening, especially on weekends, you might want to pay the price in the morning at the buffet for the day bracelet.  $27. What this lets you do is go into the French Market buffet without standing in the main line which can be quite long.  
Also, you can go as often as you like.  I’ve used it when I wanted to take a  few breaks and have coffee and fruit and then maybe come back in an hour.  I might graze five times in a day, and not stuff myself at any one buffet sitting.


The Mexican gets good reports.  I thought it was just average.


From the Orleans, walk across to the Irish Pub, McMullen’s for some homemade potato chips or a meal of Shepard's pie.  It is a pub with lots of little wooden nooks and crannies and can be a way to escape the casino scene.  We had Christmas dinner in our own room there one year when the kids came.


The Orleans shuttle drops you off just short of this little local casino called Ellis Island. which is famous for the steak special served 24 hours a day. You have to like green beans and garlic and a bargain. They make their own rootbeer.  When the free shuttle drops you off, you walk   in the opposite direction to the strip, to the first light and turn right.  They also have inexpensive food, but sometimes you have to take a number at popular times.  I have not tried the barbecue. It is in a separate location.   Folks love that as well.
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I don’t know much about the high end restaurants, but if you skim this discussion board, you can see others post about them.
If you join, you can ask your own questions.  It is perfectly safe and run by someone just interested in Vegas the way I am, not someone trying to sell anything.  She barely keeps the board running, but it is just a wonderful resource.
Also, this board friend of mine operates this blog and eats very well. She includes photographs of the good tastes.
 
A second great discussion board is:
Most of the activity is in the Let's Talk About Vegas section.


The problem with high end restaurants is they are often overpriced.  They give them free to the high rollers and so the value looks like a lot to them.  Sales on food are rarely at the upscale.
On the other hand, some of the best chefs in the world are in Vegas.  If you want to try a real upscale restaurant, we went here and loved it.  
We have a good friend who knows food and chefs.  He has yet to go to Vegas, but he would have recommendations based on his reading and knowledge of food.  Let me know if you want me to ask him.  Tell me for what you might search.


If you want to explore other kinds of tastes, there is a little Ethiopian restaurant in walking distance and a rather cool veggie place a short cab ride away.  
the Filipino restaurant at China Town gets good marks.
I have not been there.  Chinatown is a bit off my usual as the buses are complicated.  It is not the sort of Chinatown we experience in NYC, Chicago, or Montreal.  Much smaller.  Not much really diverse shopping.


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DRINK


It is very important to drink even when you are not thirsty in Vegas, especially in August, even indoors, and there are no water fountains.
Gambling you can get free bottled water, but I ask for Perrier.  I can’t remember what the Orleans has in that line, but it makes hydration fun.

And avoiding alcohol does not mean avoiding great free drinks.  
My breakfast at the Orleans is often virgin bloody marys with “lots of Olives” while I play video poker.
I can’t do the sugary virgin drinks anymore, but they are all available and very tasty and just a dollar tip.


If you visit the Gold Coast and want to see the little pool, I think with your Orleans key they will let you into that area.  In the exercise room next to the pool, there is the best cold water in cups.  Now there is a frugal gambler’s tip!  If you don’t want to see the pool, just pretend you do.  Do it for the water.


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ENTERTAINMENT


I’ve seen a few things in the Orleans showroom:  Smothers Brothers,  Richard Wright,  Vicki Lawrence , once a mentalist act.  I like the place.  Sometimes you get some reduced priced coupons on check in.  Keep an eye here to keep up with who is playing.


Elizabeth and I both like the main lounge where we can hear some good music and perhaps dance.  It depends on who is playing, but often it is music from our era.


I almost made it to the Painting class but it cancelled on me.  I am not an artist and this is just fine for untalented people like me.  Something unusual to do


There is a nice bowling alley.


The spa was nice when I used it years ago.  It costs a bit, but is not too expensive. Both the spa and the pool are just next to the elevators that run floors 1-8.  
Elizabeth liked the massage here better than what she had at the Palms.
The pool can be cool until the sun heats it, but I suppose not in August.
I love the jacuzzi as it is large with fake rocks and the music is fine.  
The whole  pool area is a great place to read and relax.


Here are some recent threads on the Orleans:









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 If you want to see my actual Trip Reports on this blog, each of those post are marked with a TR.  I don’t glump a trip report into one big narration.  I divide by topic so folks can skim for what they want to read.

In the right column of this blog are other sites I like to visit.
“Vegas Chatter” is one that I like.
 
If you want to get good prices on midpriced show tickets before you go,
Joining is free.  Sometimes the tickets are almost free, just a fee to Goldstar.
Then there is this place to check and see what they have for that day.  Here is the one near you.
Going to see a Cirque show is lots of fun.  We loved O.  I’ve seen it twice.  Mystere is fine.  Ka was too much about war but nice.  Love was fun if you like the Beatles and much less money.  Zumanity is pretty raw but we liked it.  For that one sit close to the stage.  For the others, any center seats that are not too far away give you a good show.  
Now is the time to buy your tickets to Cirque shows.  They sell out quickly.


There is plenty of comedy around time.  Stay away from SinCity comedy unless it is the only option.  


I want to go to this one.  It probably is the closest to you.




He had a good run at Tropicana and so moved upscale in the new place.


Always in standup comedy, what you get depends on who plays that day.


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I skipped downtown.  I thought you probably would not go there this trip with all you have to do.  It is not much of a tourist place except for gamblers.  Less Pizzazz.  But if you want some sense of it, ask me.
I stay there, but I use the buses to go other places, except for the video poker at the 4 Queens and the live poker at the Golden Nugget.