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Degeneracy Before Family - Cosmo/Elara June 27 - July 6

Discussion in 'Full Las Vegas Trip Reports' started by IrishDave, Jun 25, 2021.

  1. Grid!

    Grid! Gold

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    Fun fact, and I only know this because I was there at the Grand Opening. What you see, represents the "Chunnel" which connects Paris to London.

    Very clever, when you are in Paris and end up in Ramsey's London once you are inside.
     
  2. IrishDave

    IrishDave Chairman
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    Well, I guess it’s time to wrap this up, and since @momnkid wasn’t around to do an all-encompassing recap, you’ll have to do with my meager efforts. I’ll start out the recap as a Debbie Downer and improve from there.

    General thoughts:

    Vegas is open, but Vegas isn’t back yet. My experiences were in line with those @Grid! described in his blog. You can generally deduct 1 ½ to 2 stars from normal service levels. Staffing is still a major issue across the board and none of the venues were able to deal effectively with the holiday weekend crowd. Granted, it was really busy, but there were inevitably long lines, closed venues, very slow service, curtailed hours, limited menus, etc. I have no idea how long the wait would have been without reservations, even for lunch at a lot of places, and I don’t wanna know!! The employees that were there were giving it their best, and to their great credit, we’re generally cheerful and as helpful as they could be, there just weren’t nearly enough of them. I actually increased my tipping, as they were really trying and they had the work ethic to be out there working instead of sitting on the couch sucking down unemployment.

    Some specific examples -- no bread service at any of the restaurants we visited, not even the high falootin’ ones; almost always had to ask for refills on water; room not ready until 10pm at Planet Hollywood (really???); inconsistent drink quality at Chandelier a couple of nights plus plastic (!); barely any drink service on the floor at Aria (ok, maybe not new); my daughter said the Bill Burr show scheduled for 10:30pm didn’t start until midnight because of issues getting the Chelsea cleared from the first show and it was a complete cluster with the lines getting in for the second one; etc, etc. Cosmo is still restricting access on Fri and Sat night, and I can see why.

    Food quality usually didn’t suffer, but it was always slow to come out and sometimes things came out in a random order…our roasted potato was so late coming out at Zuma we just got it to go. Caesars properties seemed to have the worst issues, note my pic of the check-in line at Flamingo, and I’m starting to think there should be an IQ test to use the kiosks. I don’t think I’m picky (shut up @Wiscolovesvegas ), but it wasn’t even the same level of service as during the height of the restrictions.

    And don’t get me started on the airlines…almost every single one of the flights in our group was changed, delayed, or cancelled.

    All that being said, it was still enjoyable, but if you’re expecting the old Vegas, it’s not there yet.


    Gambling:

    Ugh. We hit our daily loss limit at Cosmo all four days there…lost about 25% of coin-in. MLife properties were much better as you can see from the increased number of pics towards the end of the trip, but in 10 days I got all of six or seven 4oaks! I think I had more Manhattans on the first day than I did quads for the entire trip. Brutal. And I got two of those quads in the last hour or two of play while chatting with @Texas Steph and @Stasi74 at Chandelier.

    Rooms:

    Elara’s four-bedroom suite was amazing with awesome views, especially for the fireworks. It’s about 2500 sq ft and was perfect for the family meet up. Full size fridge and microwave plus stove top to heat leftovers. With two teenage boys along, nothing went to waste! Fireworks were pretty cool, about the same show as New Years, and everyone loved being inside watching them from floor to ceiling windows. My nephews are into Formula 1 racing and the TV will project onto the blinds in the main living area so they got up to watch a race at 6am and had a blast. I know timeshares get a (usually deserved) bad rap and they’re not for everyone, but the Hilton program has been great for me and allowed me to do some great trips with my family. You can rent it as a hotel room, but I have no idea of the rack rate. The suite is an end cap on the east/west oriented building, and I made sure I emphasized when I checked in that getting on the strip side was much higher priority than getting into the room at a given time since I still had the Cosmo room that day. We were in that room a lot sooner than at Planet Hollywood!

    The Cosmo one-bedroom terrace “suite” was the usual excellent room. I’m honestly starting to take it for granted, never had a problem. Housekeeping was solid, but for the first time in a while the weed smell in the hallways and on the terrace was overwhelming at times. Pretty sure Cheech and Chong were staying in the room next to us. That’s not Cosmo’s fault.

    I really didn’t care for the Planet Hollywood room. Besides not being ready until 10pm, the 50’s ish décor didn’t do much for me. While it looked kinda cool, the seating was not very comfortable and the lighting was relatively poor. Not a bad room really, just not for me. Served it’s purpose though and gave me a mental health day after playing travel guide. I’ll never get Caesars comp again, I had the room for two nights and didn’t gamble in their casinos at all.

    Excalibur Ewww! Decent size Royal Tower king, but room was pretty beat up (think Motel 6) and had significant housekeeping issues. Sink had dirty water in it, and shower, well…I’m just glad I’d only booked it to have a room to charge to so I could take advantage of a pretty generous MLife offer. At least the sheets were clean.

    Food:

    Putting the service issues aside, our go-to restaurants didn’t disappoint. My nephews were in awe of the rib cap at Gordon Ramsey Steak. Javier’s (loved the Guayaba margarita), Lemongrass, and Zuma were excellent as always. Lago for Sunday brunch is really enjoyable with very good food and the fountains as a backdrop. The tasting menu at Jaleo is a great deal for great food and the flan there is becoming my favorite dessert, cooked perfectly and paired with the Catalan cream…sooo good. First time eating at Il Fornaio in NYNY, not over-the-top, but an above average, good meal. Typical, solid pub grub at RiRa, the Blue Spot was gone so I defaulted to Guinness. No report on China Poblano this trip, too many Manhattans.


    Activities:

    Just go to the Pinball Hall of Fame, just do it. I’ve been meaning to go for several trips and I’ve missed out by putting it off. What a great time! They have everything from really, really old first generation machines to high tech stuff, plus classic video games from my youth (Pacman, Tron, etc), air hockey, everything. Hilarious watching my nephews lose to their mom on the old arcade basketball games! “There’s something wrong with this game!” Suuuure… A couple of tips, take small bills, they don’t have any bill breakers and $20 worth of quarters lasted a long time. Also, Uber hasn’t realized they’ve moved from out on East Tropicana to near the welcome to Las Vegas sign on the strip, so you can get unintentionally long hauled. In decent weather, it’s probably walkable from Mandalay. What a blast, I’ll definitely do it again!

    Speaking of blasts, shooting automatic weapons at Battlefield Vegas was a real blast!! They’re kinda behind Circus Circus and will pick you up from and return you to a strip hotel in a no kidding Humvee. The guys loved that! Professional, friendly, safety focused Range Officers (mostly ex-military) and really well run. Incredible selection of weapons…a mini gun…wow! Indoor range out of the heat, too. Not exactly cheap, but cheaper than gambling!! Again, a great time and I’ll do it again.

    Twilight Zone Mini Golf in the Bally’s arcade was another good way to beat the heat. Cheesy blacklight mini golf, but actually a lot of fun with the guys. Pretty reasonably priced for Vegas.

    Piff the Magic Dragon was an enjoyable show. Not Penn and Teller, but a good value for the price and family friendly.

    The Dive-In movie at Cosmo was fun, but I think once was enough for me. The Ice Rink is a much more enjoyable atmosphere, with the holiday season, fire pit, etc. The rum infused Dole Whips were pretty good tho!

    I got to gamble with quite a few folks on the board. Enjoyed seeing @TriggerMN and Geotwink, @Wanker751, @Stasi74, and @Texas Steph again and meeting @claired67 and @JennJenn for the first time. Apologies to anyone I missed, it was a long trip, but it’s always more fun and makes the time go faster when you can meet board members. Thanks to @Stasi74 for reminding me I needed to eat at Blue Ribbon and for picking up the tab. Good to see all of you!


    Overall:

    I had some trepidation about doing a nine night trip. Usually, I’m ready to go home by day five or so, but gambling first and then meeting up with family made the trip fly by. I extended a tenth night because I needed a day to decompress from guiding a group of seven people around, not that they were bad, just trying to work all the schedules with flight changes and making sure everyone got to do what they wanted to do was too much like my old job. So I needed to ease back into retirement!

    It was a really good trip. The service issues really didn’t bother me, as it was about what I expected and planned for, but I wanted to make sure you all knew the current state of play. The lack of 4oaks annoyed me more!! The 10pm check-in would have really pissed me off if I’d needed the room tho. It was unbelievably hot, so we didn’t do much outside, but way too many very young kids in strollers on the strip for that kind of heat. I mean 107 at 8pm, really??

    Gambling kinda sucked but we got the losing out of the way early then @MrsIrishDave had a bit of a rally going into the weekend. But the most important thing is we achieved our primary objective of having some truly quality family time. It opened my younger nephew’s eyes about not judging places based on preconceptions, he’s pretty much a straight arrow, and he had a blast with everything we did.

    Next trip will likely feature more degeneracy, but it’s hard to beat a trip like this one!
     
    #282 IrishDave, Jul 12, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2021
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  3. momnkid

    momnkid Read The Necklace
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    I'd say from now on, I'll only go to Vegas when you do, but I still have a job and am not on the wait list for death called retirement.

    Oh, don't cry for him. A true curmudgeon eats that shit up. I'll be awaiting my reply.

    Sent from my Pixel 4 XL using Tapatalk
     
  4. IrishDave

    IrishDave Chairman
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    [​IMG]
     
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  5. IrishDave

    IrishDave Chairman
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    Oh, PS (as in Postscript, not as in Psyco Steph, right @Texas Steph ?). Getting an Uber wasn’t much of a problem, but surge pricing was in effect fairly often. Cabs are plentiful and are often the cheaper option right now
     
  6. hb30043

    hb30043 Oddsmaker
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    Thanks @IrishDave for this great TR. You did it all, glad the family had a wonderful time. We will be hitting Pinball Hall of Fame in its new location and Battlefield Vegas on our next friends trip. Better gambling ahead!
     
  7. Texas Steph

    Texas Steph I think I'm addicted to Vegas...
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    Um.... it's "Psycho" Steph.
    If you're gonna give me an endearing nickname, please do us a favor and at least spell it right!
     
  8. Suekel

    Suekel Platinum
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    Great TR Dave, I'm super impressed you managed to keep it going while having so many people with you.

    I hope one of these days our trips will coincide. Of course for that to happen, I need to start getting my ass back to Vegas. Soon.

    So, when is the next trip? ;oP
     
  9. Mr2BOBCATS

    Mr2BOBCATS Palladium

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    100%. Which made our Pinball Museum tricky since getting there in a cab was easy, getting back not so much since the cabbies aren’t readily available there. We had to Uber back to NYNY which cost twice what the cab did on the way there from Cosmo, despite it being a way shorter trip.
     
  10. Craps_Player

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    I’ll definitely pop in there now, after your review. The savings away from the craps table….

    But you have a point there on the transport. Is it easy to cross the road over to One of the hotels?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  11. Mr2BOBCATS

    Mr2BOBCATS Palladium

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    In cooler weather, maybe. Take a look on Google street view. It’s almost out where the Harley Davidson shop is. Probably a 20 min walk to Mandalay, maybe more? Doable if it wasn’t over 100 degrees outside.
     
  12. momnkid

    momnkid Read The Necklace
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    Sometimes I turn to God, sometimes I turn to whisky
    Either way, I am guided by the spirit
     
  13. Texas Steph

    Texas Steph I think I'm addicted to Vegas...
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    Are you quoting our good buddy @IrishDave? Or just feeling philosophical after an extra strong doobie??
     
  14. momnkid

    momnkid Read The Necklace
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    Figures it was a great quote to close the trip thread but now that's ruined.

    Hahahahaha

    Saw it on the side of a building, attributed to JW. No doobies yet today, maybe I should remedy that before I work on sales numbers lol.

    Sent from my Pixel 4 XL using Tapatalk
     
  15. Smuckers330

    Smuckers330 If I don’t see you, it’s because I left
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    Sounds like they don’t know the difference between an old fashioned and a boulevardier.

     
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