Saturday, December 06, 2014


Just wrote a review for a board question and thought it might be a good one to keep here for future reference:

I have stayed at both Eastside Cannery and Sam's Town. Eastside Cannery offers better rooms in my opinion. I love the views from those floor to ceiling glass walls. If you get a corner room, the whole experience is just grand. However, I think they cost more money than when I had one.
This is a five year old set of photos and evaluation, but it stays in my memory.

Also, to be noted here is that they have a new renovated webpage that earns points toward free food and drink.  It is much more interesting than the old page.  I have more points now than I'd ever use up going as I do just one time a year.  But it is fun to do the crossword puzzles and play other bits.

I have stayed in the regular rooms and liked them although the view is less spectacular.

I just am too fugal to book there. I think about it. Then I get a better deal somewhere.
However, seniors will get $10 off the rack rate by calling and asking.

The VP is pretty amazing. Over near Marilyn's look for full pay.
including rare games you just will find few places in Vegas. The JOB is very unusual.

Live poker is a fine limit game of 2-4-6, but it is dominated by locals and a bit tough to crack.

My favorite part is the Monday night Latin show, Claudine Castro on Monday nights. I go there every trip.

The Webpass games on the website will give you some free drinks and buffets and other things depending on what they offer. You do have to print the voucher before you leave home and present it to the Player's Club within 7 days. However, I actually got a couple free wines at the bar and brought them in early to the lounge and just let them sit. That night I did not have to buy a drink. You don't have to actually play games if you just check in and do the key search and the puzzles, etc. Points add up.

The 202 city bus will get you to the strip and back in 30-45 minutes each way, and it just sits at the edge of the parking lot while the driver takes a break. Just watch the time. The last 202 bus that hits the EC comes just before 1AM. I went to the EC from the Gold Coast last trip and it was an easy ride, especially late at night when there was little traffic on Flamingo.

Walmarts for food snacks is across the street.
BankAmerica for fee free withdrawals ( if you have an account) is also across the street.

I like the buffet. It is basic, but there are things I really enjoy there, including Cholula on the table if you ask and moonpie cookies.
Last trip I got two free wines at the bar and carried them into a free buffet for supper.
I never eat beyond the buffet, but I've heard good things about the other choices as well and the Webpass has some great deals sometimes if you have enough points.

There are plenty of promotions. Some days earning a few points will get a free buffet

Sad Passing of Jack

Board friends become important to those of us who plan Vegas on a daily basis.  I lost one this week.

Condolences, if you knew Jack, can be posted on the site below:

As a MyVegas fellow player he was also my Facebook friend where  I knew him as Joey Smith, and he played often and shared his winnings with us.  Part of the frugality of my last trip was due to his sharing on MyVegas.

Plenty of sadness on the discussion board posts today.


Wednesday, December 03, 2014


I posted this on a Vegas discussion board and thought it worth keeping as boiler plate

Resort fees are charged to enable the casino hotel to raise the price of the rooms and get the full value of the raise in price even when the room is booked at discounter sites.  The discounter gets a piece of the price of the room, but none of the resort fees.
They are charged as a mechanism to sort out the gamblers from those just visiting Vegas.  Many places charge no resort fee for comped rooms earned by gamblers.  Others will negoatiate the resort fee after substantial play.  So, it becomes another carrot on a stick to encourager folks to play more.
They are also used as an incentive to encourage upgrading.  Casinos and hotels will often drop the resort fee when upgrading, so the customer has one more reason to spend a bit more.
It is true that if no one paid them, they would go away. 
However, clearly the market has spoken.  The CET experiment in advertising "no fees" to attract customers failed.  That seems to suggest that at no time in the near future will folks actually stop buying because of resort fees.
Personally, it hit my own frugal booking for 24 night trips pretty hard.  Live poker play at CET before resort fees got me decent room rates (below resort fee prices now) and that all dried up. 
Adding just one pay night to my comped two nights at the Gold Coast cost more than it would have without resort fees.
I paid on average $9.25 a night for my last 24 night stay, so a $28 resort fee pushes my average 300%.  Folks who are paying $375 a night for a room see only a slight percentage increase.
That being said I spent 5 nights on the strip when I paid only the resort fee, 3 using MyVegas and 2 using one of the CET coupons for Planet Hollywood.  This was very frugal since the resort fee is the same cost on weekend nights and a resort fee only room offers more value Friday and Saturday than on weekdays.  Also, the MyVegas room at Mandalay Bay and the Planet Hollywood rooms were pretty amazing.  MB would have cost $375 the night I stayed.  In addition, I did find an amenity that was worth the resort fee price in all strip locations.  PH had a heated pool.  Monte Carlo and Mandalay Bay each had a lazy river that opened early enough for me to swim mornings on my one-nighters.  I hate exercise, but this was a delightful workout for an old guy.  With no tube swimming while being zipper around was actually the best exercise I've had.  Along with al the walking and rolling of luggage and healthy food choices at the buffet, I dropped my diabetes sugar numbers.  And I could not get that sort of exercise anywhere else, because water parks are filled with kids.  These lazy rivers were heated and empty at 8 or 9 when they opened.  I will certainly do the MyVegas resort fee only room specials again and I have to think about whether the advantage to my health demands I stop being so frugal and spend the money (and resort fee)  on rooms at Mandalay Bay.
At any rate, I have to think that MyVegas and those CET friend and family promotions are easier to market with resort fees kicking some value back to the casino even from a guy like me who never gambles a slot machine or low pay VP at strip joints.
Nothing will keep me from visiting Vegas.  If money is tight, I may gamble less.  I may round out my trip at Arizona Charlie's on Boulder where $38 will buy me a two room suite but not a lazy river.  Certainly, I save the resort fee by gambling at full pay VP and poker tables that at least at times are filled with tourists.  The best limit poker I played was late night 3-6 at Mandalay Bay and 2-6 spread (and Pineapple) at Monte Carlo and that was always very late at night when to be comfortable I needed to slip into a nearby bed. 
VP in New York state equivalent to what I play downtown in Vegas is actually illegal because it pays over 100% with perfect play.
It is rare that I don't hit enough fully paid full houses and flushes in a day of VP to cover any resort fee.  It certainly covers that charged by the Gold Coast and Orleans or Sam's Town.  In strip casinos I never play any of the machines.
This past trip in 25 days I lost $928.  That is more than covered by what I saved in hotel rates.  Food expenses were under $12 a day.  Entertainment gave me 13 live music or staged shows for an average of $7.  My 14th was a Chris Angel ticket at $87 to go along with my son.  I can't go anywhere cheaper.
My transportation was $38 total for 25 days.  At home it costs me $40 in gas and tolls  to drive one day and back to the nearest local casino where the food comps are less and the drink comps are coffee or soda only.
Two buddies joined me for a week.  They live not far from me, but actually they are so busy at home with work and family, I rarely see them.
There was a blonde board meetup and conversation with a couple dozen people I often write with but only see in Vegas.
I met, talked and danced with  an amazing collection of people from all over the world.
My son from Chicago joined me took me out to Red Rock. be with him one on one without interruption was a very rare treat.
No local casino gives me that kind of social life.
Finally, it was cold here and I was swimming there.  I rarely needed more than a very light jacket and generally, to cover after dark bus stop waiting, I just stuck my new MyVegas Palace Station tee shirt in my cargo pant pocket and that was plenty of extra warmth.  That precluded leaving my jacket in some casino.  The cargo pant pockets automatically go with me when I leave, even if I leave drunk or tired.
These benefits easily outweigh the frustration of resort fees.