Friday, October 28, 2011

I think I am finally really booked

October 25-26--  Staying at Fitzgerald's.  Two nights $36 total with $10 food. $15 freeplay, $15 matchplay, and 2 comedy tickets, basically getting my money and more back in comps. I still am booked at the El Cortez in case something changes, and I need to move things around again.

The Fitz room charge is $36 with tax.
October 27-28-29 Free at Four Queens with $50 food credit and $60 freeplay. Bill is at Orleans 27/28/29.
October 30-31 - Paying $34 with tax for El Cortez Pavilion using ACG coupon.  Bill is at El Cortez.
November 1- 7 -  Paying $192 to stay at Gold Spike through their website.
Bill is at Gold Spike 1/2, then back at Orleans 3/4, and then he goes home Oct 5.
November 8-9  Free at Orleans with $10 food credit
November 10, 11, 12,13 - Staying for $27 at Four Queens.  3 nights are free.  Also I get to be enrolled in a slot tournament. And I get $60 freeplay as well.
November 13 14 -15 - Paying $34 with tax to stay at Harrah's (although I'll probably pay less to nothing after applying my to be earned poker reward points.)  I am doubled booked one night (13) with Harrah's, but that will make the move easier if I don't get a ride.  I don't have to take all my luggage at once.

Odd that I made all these changes to try and get 14 nights in one room at the El Cortez, and I did not manage it, and I don't care now as the whole policy soured me on the goal just to stay there in one place my entire trip.  Now I am back just jumping from room to room based on offers, deals, and cheap basic prices.
At first I had a booking with and  I got into an exchange of email again with over who collects the resort fee at Gold Spike.  They don't know that they do.  They won't admit that it is the "resort fee;"  they call it a "service charge"  which they pass on to the hotel.  I see the advantage for Gold Spike, as the money is collected long before I arrive.  It is a disadvantage to the discounter because it makes their price appear $9 a night higher compared to or other discounters that do not collect for the hotel.  Expedia does the same.

Then I found a cheaper price right on the Gold Spike website.
However, altering this is hard.  Next time book in two and three day bits that are easier to cancel.

Room charge  is $114.00      Resort fee is $56.00

subtotal           $170.00
13%                   $22.00 (resort fee is also taxed)
Total                $192.00 for 7 nights at gold spike ($27 a night on average)

Plus $36 for 2 nights at the Fitz
plus $34 ElCortez ACG coupon deal for 2 pavillion nights
plus $102 Gold Spike- Nov 10-11-12 (until 4 Queens gives me this free)  This is now cancelled
plus $27 total for 4 nights at the Four Queens (3 free)
Plus $34 Harrah's (to be reduced with points to 0 after playing poker)
$0 at Orleans
$0 at Four Queens in October

total = $14.68 on average per night (if my math is right)

Total food and freeplay that comes with rooms:
$180  If I added that into the formula, the rooms would cost me $6.50 a night.
And I expect that the Harrah's will be free and save me another $34.  Then the average would be $4.96.
Fly home on Nov 16
Had I known that I could shorten my stay at the Gold Spike, I would have left the Fitz in that last week in November, but thinking I was double booked, I moved it to the October 25-26 two night block and will cancel the El Cortez.  I save $50 in mandatory food expense which is about equal to saving $45 in Gold Spike room expense.  I always have plenty of free food in Vegas.  It also gives me 7 nights with no moving at the Gold Spike, an easier move from the Fitz to the Four Queens and if they let me use the free comedy tickets on my check out day, 27th, Bill can come and see that show with me.  I see prices of $40 dollars for this show, so the comp is a good deal.
note to self:  first confirm the Fitz.  then cancel the EC.

Absolutely the longest and most confusing bookings I have ever made for any trip.  I will have to make certain that all the cancelled rooms are in fact cancelled when I finally settle this all down just before I go.
Why does the Four Queens wait to make mailed offers just weeks before the event?  Perhaps they want to catch the attention of those who have not yet decided to go.  However, it makes planning complicated.  I have to have a backup to cancel if and when they send me an offer.  Waiting until the last minute to book would be deadly.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Last day before Vegas

Whew! weeks of planning and packing and still a long list things to.

I leave about 5:30 am tomorrow morning.  Such an early flight.  I hope I can get my second sleep on the plane.
I got another request for a meetup on the boards today.  However, the family dates seem to be emerging and I am coordinated with Lucky Pete and Wild Bill, so I think as much is done that can be done and it all seems to be falling into place.

My suitcase is packed right up to the 50 pounds this time, so I may have to break it in half for the airplane part of the journey.  

Yesterday was a fine day.  We went with Peter and Donna  for a fine drive through the Berkshires.  We stopped to see War of the Worlds,,

a fine recreation of the live broadcast that is such classic old radio.
It was wonderful!  Not a weak spot in it. All the actors were very good and the theater was very small, so we had great seats.
In fact, we were in the front row.
Here was old radio blended with this particular event and with current commercials.
It is hard to explain, but it worked on every level.  I thought that at least one level might be poorly done, but it all worked.
And once again the monsters were destroyed by the common cold.

We had a bit of salmon at Salmon Run in Lee.  I went for the Buffalo wing spiced gorgonzola salmon as I always do.  Peter and Donna entertained us with stories, travel talk, history and analysis.  Such a complete pleasure!

Donna, without being prompted,  said she liked reading about the food here on the blog, and we laughed loud and long.
Take that Lucky Pete! Take that Courtney!  Take that Elizabeth!
My food themes have been vindicated.

Thanks, Donna.

I talked at length to Keith Reynolds on the phone today who is recovering slowly from an operation and seems in good spirits and improving daily.  We had quite a bit to discuss as always.  It was like days long ago when we were more constant friends.

And a fine Autumn day here at the lake.  I'l get out for a short boat ride today and we'll have the perch and crappie I caught two days ago for our supper.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

El cortez walleye garnish named

One poster said that they are called sea beans:

Mysterious green plants known as sea beans have becoming increasingly prominent at farmers markets and restaurants. Although their scientific name is salicornia, they are frequently referred to by many names, including pickleweed, glasswort, drift seeds, sea asparagus, sea pickles, and marsh samphire.

I do wish that the ElCor would re-rethink the cafe. It just doesn't "feel" right...