Tag Archives: nevada

Las Vegas Trip Report: Do I Win a Million Dollars?

This morning I woke up at Longhorn casino.  I am up and out by 9:00.   I go down to the casino and play.   I am playing quarter Double Double Bonus video poker.  I want to be playing four card Cleopatra Keno.  There is only one of those open and I instinctively know that if I sit there, between two people, at least one of them is going to ask me for a cigarette.  Turns out I didn’t even  have to sit there as one came over to me to ask me for one.   I hate that so much.  I don’t know what it is about casinos that make complete strangers feel like it is okay to ask  you to give them something you paid for with your own cash.

I  gave him a cigarette and then said fuck it, I  guess I can now sit at Cleopatra Keno.  As I am playing, the cigarette grubber gets a phone call.  He asks me where he is at, so he can tell the caller where he is. “Longhorn.” “What?!?”  “LONGHORN.”   He leaves, putting out the grubbed cigarette directly on the machine.  Not in any of the billions of ashtrays sitting around.  Longhorn literally  has a clean ashtray on EVERY machine at all times, every single machine, every single time.

I am playing and I am doing pretty well.  No HUGE wins, but I doubled a few $20 bills.  I thought I had $70 in wins.  When I got back to the room, I only had $50 in wins.  I am pretty sure I dropped money somewhere.  The TITO machine was spitting my money out so that it did not land in the tray and I caught a loose $20 falling to the ground.  I think I may have missed another one.  I sure as all hell hope it was found by someone other than that jerk who put his cigarette out on the machine.

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Time to check out and head downtown, where I am checking back into the California hotel for a second stay here this trip.  I take the bus there.  The hotel is a mess.  They are redoing everything and I guess now they are working on the reception desk.  It has temporarily been moved to the casino, to the right of Keno.  The line is sooooooooooo long, one person working.  It takes forever.  Finally I am next.


The woman in front of me said she paid for three nights through (some discounter) but the woman at the desk was showing only two nights were pre-paid and so she owed for her third.  This went on for a while.   I mean a WHILE.

Finally it is my turn.  “Oh checking in?  Step to the side please so I can check people out.”

There are no bell men anywhere.  As a matter of fact, in the half an hour or so I have been on this line, a man is trying to get a bell man to help him.  He has asked the lone worker at reception three times if there are any bell men working today.

I am trapped here.

Finally I get a room yay!   I am in room 1113.  Just a couple of doors down from where I was a couple of weeks ago.  When I had a lot more money.

I dropped my stuff off and headed to Binions.  I was smoking while playing and some man came up and asked me for a “couple of cigarettes.”  Yeah, no.

I played in Binions for a couple of hours and only lost $20.   This is how days should go.  If I do not win, then at least let me play!

I went back to California for a nap and then back to Binions for dinner.  I had a Binions burger, which somehow was the first one I had this trip.  This is my favorite meal in Vegas.

From here, I took the bus to Boulder Station.   I have never been here before.  I always fantasized that I would win a million dollars here.  So I may as well get that out of the way before it is time to leave.

The bus stop for Boulder Station is one of those ones that grates on my nerves.  It stops between two traffic lights, which are pretty far from each other and both are far from the bus stop.  I chose to walk in the direction of one and as I am walking, I begin to realize just how far it is before I can cross.  I will no longer be anywhere near the casino.  So I opted to dart across six lanes of traffic on Boulder Highway.   Good news guys, I did not get killed!  Going back to Downtown, the bus is right outside the casino.

I was so surprised to see how packed this casino was, which seems to be a typical thing for me at Station casinos.  I should be used to it by now, but nope.

I got Starbucks and played around, including $5 free play I had earned.  I got nothing.   Except cheap cigarettes.

I headed back to Binions and I cannot play my preferred Cleopatra Keno machine because someone is on it.  Not only is he is my machine, he is a guy who recently won $2500 on the Binions free pull, which I know because I recognized him from the photo Binions posted.  Now he has $2500 and he has my machine. What a jerk!

I lost  the rest of today’s budget, did the promotional spin, threw out my receipt for the free deck of cards, collected a free t-shirt, and went to bed.

Gambling Day: – $200
Gambling Trip: + $660
Miscellaneous: (tips, cigarettes, coffee):  $78.56
Comps used: California room, Binions burger
Freebies:  $5 slot play at Boulder Station, free t-shirt at Binions

Why do I bother making itineraries?

Friday, January 8, 2016
Breakfast: Longhorn
East Side Cannery 9-9 300 points = $500 cash or slot play
Check into California
North Las Vegas
Texas Station $10 for $5 ACG
Plaza 10x slots
Four Queens double points ACG
Binions double points ACG
Binions $10 free LVA
Plaza $10 free LVA
Downtown Grand $10 free play LVA

El Cortez – pick envelope LVA
Four Queens $10 free play LVA

Las Vegas Trip Report: Side Trip to Laughlin

This is an old Las Vegas trip report that I am posting for the entertainment of Las Vegas addicts. While it was current at the time it was written, a lot of it is now completely outdated.  Much of what you read about may no longer exist.

Monday, March 24, 2003 – Day Four of Nine

My mother and I wake up today at the Plaza.  Breakfast is free for both of us with the Plaza’s Pleasure Pak coupons.  The food here is nothing special, but it is free and features crispy bacon.

Today we are taking a day trip to Laughlin. I was hoping we’d get the same driver I had back in June. He was wonderful and shared a lot about Las Vegas, history, little facts and interesting things. Unfortunately we had a different driver. This driver had no personality and didn’t like to be spoken to. Oh well.

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The bus trip comes with free coupons to the Edgewater buffet.  After lunch, we took Laughlin’s only form of public transporation; a water taxi.  This was a nice way to get around as you had a lovely view.

Laughlin Nevada River View

I would love to see the inside of these homes.

houses on waterLaughlin’s own Vegas Vic!

vegas vic

I love the Colorado Belle:

Colorado Belle, Laughlin, Nevada

We took the river taxi all the way down to Harrahs, which is the last casino of the bunch.  It’s peculiar because you see the beach with mountains in the background, which I am so not used to, being from the East Coast. If you look at just the beach, it’s possible to forget you are in the desert.

Harrahs Laughlin Nevada

First thing I spot inside Harrahs is a bank of The Price is Right Punch a Bunch slot machines. I never got to play them though since they were always full.

I had wanted to build up some more points on my Harrahs card so I went nuts. I won on Cash Crop, Quarter Mania and Monopoly. I left Harrahs up about $50 which was great because I was going nuts putting money into machines.

We get back to the Edgewater and discover that none of these machines are going to give us any money. So we stop playing and settle for Krispy Kreme donuts.

On the way back to Las Vegas, we decide we want to get off the bus at Caesars so we can eat at the Cheesecake Factory again. Our driver with no personality said “I’m only dropping off where I picked up, no additional stops” which was fine. But we are curious “Did you stop at Caesars on the way here?”  Because you know, he might have before he picked us up at the Plaza. So I ask.  Mr. Personality barks back “You can get off if we stop near Caesars.” I try again.   I ask him “Where exactly are you stopping?” He answers me with “Shhhhh, I’m counting” and then makes an announcement that “It’s okay to tip your driver” Sorry, but I’ll pass.

Some woman on the bus offers to me that Ballys is near Caesars. I already know this, but does she happen to know if the bus is in fact stopping at Ballys? She doesn’t know, but starts naming for me all the hotels near Caesars. Thanks. Do you know if the bus is stopping at any of these hotels? No? So you are just being helpful listing random hotels for me? I feel myself getting so cranky.

It turns out we do stop at Ballys. My mother and I exit the bus and walk to Caesars. I am getting crankier and crankier and crankier by the minute. The people mover that you take from the strip into the casino isn’t working, which means my mother has to walk uphill on it.  This is very difficult for her to do.  I am not even hungry and I just start snapping and in my snapfit I tell my mother “IM NOT EVEN HUNGRY” to which she said she wasn’t either so we skipped the walk.

We stopped at O’Sheas because they had Sale of the Century slot machines inside. I had never seen them before. My machine ate all my money. My mother cashed out on a Reel ’em in game. We get her money and head to Harrahs. It is at Harrahs that my mother realizes she left her jacket in O’Sheas. Back we go.

We return Harrahs a second time and this time I play The Price is Right Punch a Bunch. I LOVE this game. The girl on the Showcase Showdown has a name tag that reads “Jen” I won $75. This game is so great. I want to play it all day every day.

We take a cab back to the Plaza. I take a shower, the tub wont drain. Neither will the sink when I brush my teeth. Luckily the win at Harrahs has eased my crankiness and I condition myself to “it’s our last night at the Plaza, who cares?” I go to sleep smiling.

Las Vegas Trip Report: Checking into the Plaza

Disclaimer Part One: This is an old Las Vegas trip report that I am posting for the entertainment of Las Vegas addicts. While it was current at the time it was written, a lot of it is now completely outdated.  Much of what you read about may no longer exist.

Sunday, March 23, 2003 – Day Three of Nine

My mother and I are doing very well with getting up early every morning to start our wonderful Las Vegas days as soon as possible. Today is no exception.

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We are up at the crack of dawn and we walk over to Main Street Station for breakfast.

main street station, las vegas, nevada

After eating, we go back to our winning Fox and the Hound machines. I played a little bit and then moved to a Frequent Flyer slot machine. Frequent Flyer is one of those games I normally put $5 in and lose. But one time I cashed out for $50 at Palace Station, so I play it every time now. Between this and Fox and The Hound, I cashed out with $35. Every little bit counts.

We checked out of the Las Vegas Club and left our bags at the Bell Desk and went to play a while before moving hotels. I won $50 on Price Check slot machine here (yay!) and $60 on Monopoly Chairman of the Board. This is by far my favorite Monopoly and I’m glad I opted to skip new Monopoly to play it.

For lunch, we ate at Binions again.  Afterwards, we collected our bags and crossed the street to The Plaza to check in.

[Editor’s note: I was so horrible at taking pictures back then!  Would it have killed me to back up a couple of steps to get the whole building in the frame?!]Plaza Las Vegas, Nevada

We had the Las Vegas Advisor coupon, which gave us two nights for $30. We got room 709 in whatever tower is by the check in desk (I can’t remember). It was a nicer room than $15 should be buying you. It came  with a refrigerator and what is this? A pubic hair in the tub. What is with all the stray hairs and why are they in all our rooms???

My mother is ready to nap, I can’t sleep. I stay there until the alarm goes off, at which time I see on her face that she is exhausted.  I say “I’ll be right back” and I vanish for about 3 hours, but I do check on her every hour or so. Finally she is up. We get dressed and go out.

Our first stop is the California casino, so we can play their Spam slot machines. I love this game. I don’t win, but I still love it. Dinner was at the Market Street Cafe inside the California casino.

After dinner, we decided to go play at Main Street Station, which is conveniently connected to the California by an indoor pedestrian bridge.

I am a LOSER tonight on every machine. Every last one. I’m done, time for bed.

Las Vegas Trip Report: We Almost Saw a Fight!

This is an old Las Vegas trip report that I am posting for the entertainment of Las Vegas addicts. While it was current at the time it was written, a lot of it is now completely outdated.  Much of what you read about may no longer exist.

Saturday, March 22, 2003 – Part Two of Nine

This morning, my mother and I woke up at the Las Vegas Club.  We attempted to go to the Golden Nugget for breakfast, but the line is too long.  Instead, we went to Fitzgeralds. This buffet isn’t bad at all. It’s my second time having it, and I wouldn’t hesitate to try it a third time.

I played and lost on quarter Monopoly in Binions. Played in the Las Vegas Club on random nickel machines and lose. Time for a nap. This time I win! Oh wait…that was just a dream…

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We wake up, get dressed and take a cab to Caesars. The Cheesecake Factory is our destination. After Caesars it’s off to Treasure Island see their Cirque de Soleil show, named Mystere. It’s starting a half an hour late so off to the slots we go. By the way, if you go see Mystere and you don’t already have an MGM Mirage slot card, they give you $20 free slot play for signing up. I couldn’t get it, but my mother did.

I won $50 on a Risque Business slot machine and then it’s time for the show.  Mystere is fantastic. I was in awe the entire time. “How does she do that?” “How does he do that?” It was just so good.

After the show I played a Money Groove slot machine and win, but then put it all back. Same with Price Check.

Treasure Island:

Treasure Island, March 2003Las Vegas Strip, March 2003[Obligatory Editor’s note:  I miss the old Treasure Island sign]

We then head over to the Venetian for what was supposed to be a minute. But I saw Price Check and had to play. Put in $5 and cashed out $30. Little Green Men Family Reunion –  put in $5 and cashed out $30.

We went outside to get a cab. There was almost a brawl on the cab line between some older men and some young kids. The killer was that it was the older men who wanted to fight the younger kids.  One of the younger kids actually said “Dude, if you want, I will fight you, but when you wake up tomorrow and remember that you got drunk tonight and got your ass kicked by a kid, you are going to feel really stupid.”

I just referred to guys in their early 20’s as “younger kids”. Let’s add this to the “loss” column. Sigh.

The fight never happens. We get in a cab back to the Las Vegas Club. Play and lose on about 10 different nickel machines before hitting our beds.

Las Vegas Trip Report: Last Day and Realization I Did Nothing but Gamble This Trip

Friday, January 4, 2008 – Day Four of Four

This is part four of a four part trip report.  If you want to start from the beginning, go here!

I wake up early because it’s the last day and I need to get going.   I wanted to make my first trip to the Palazzo and check it out.  I could not decide if I should go there first or last.   I’ve had quite a few trips where I end up spending my last day playing tourist on the strip because I was sick of losing money.   But today I still have half of my entire budget that I  left in the bank.  So I decided to play and then maybe go visit Palazzo  if I lose.

I went downstairs and lost all over Sahara.   Like $170 before 8:00 am.   On every machine I tried.   Sigh.

Again, I had breakfast at The Caravan Café, using my comps.   After, I went back to the room and packed and got ready to go.  I checked out and checked my luggage at the Bell Desk and took the bus downtown.

I played Monopoly again, won again.  I played my video poker machine again, won again.  This machine is so wonderful.  She loves to deal me four of a kinds.   She seems to understand.   She even gave me aces three times today.  Best machine ever.

After some playing, I went downstairs and played a game called Cash Inferno.  This machine is one of those machines where I normally hit a $50 bonus every time I play it, but I don’t play it that often because I like to keep it for when I NEED to win.    I can’t explain my logic here.  I do know that I hit a $60 bonus though.

I have a ton of comps at Fitzgeralds so I end up eating here.

After lunch, I go back to my video poker machine and she is no longer taking bills.   She is mad at me because she knows I’m leaving and I don’t blame her.   We are in love.

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I go back downstairs to Monopoly.  Someone is on my machine so I try another and lose.  Try All That Glitters, lose.   I consider trying Super Happy Fortune Cat and instead, decide to try a Sopranos slot machine.   I don’t like this machine and it doesn’t like me.

Finally, it is time to leave for the airport.  BAH.

I take the bus back to Sahara, get my stuff and wait for the bus to the airport.    The bus lets us off by the D gates, which is where I need to be, but I don’t have a boarding pass.   So I have to walk to the Spirit check in, which is the absolute furthest check in counter from the D gates.  The line is long and moves very slow.  It takes me an hour and a half to get my boarding pass.   I don’t know why I just didn’t print it out at an internet kiosk.

I finally get it and walk alllllllllllll the way back to the D gates.   My flight was a bit late, but only by about 10 minutes.

It looked as if I was going to have my own row but the last passenger to board took the aisle seat.  I am convinced this was not his assigned seat and that his assigned seat was actually directly in front of me.   When I checked the seats before I left, that row was full and mine just had me.  of course, he could have changed his seat, but I’m still convinced otherwise.  He filled the middle seat up with all his crap.   Dude, this is MY row.   But whatever.

The flight was actually Q-U-I-E-T.   I don’t think that’s ever happened before.   It was kind of bumpy at parts and for about ten seconds, the air turned off.   Those ten seconds caused me a claustrophobic fit and I felt like I couldn’t breathe for the next couple of hours.  It’s all in your head I know, but still.

I read a book and when I got to the last page, they announced they were about to start the final descent into Atlantic City.

We landed like five minutes early, I am still not used to saying this and I LOVE saying this.

I grabbed a cab to Caesars to catch the bus back to Port Authority.  The cab driver tried to rip me off.  A cab ride from the airpoprt is a $27 flat fee and he tried to charge me $32. It even clearly states on the cab door that the fare is $27.  I would have given him $32 with a tip, but because he tried to rip me off, he only got $27.  He was very talkative and wanted to babble to me the entire drive.  Dude, you tried to rip me off.   Why would I want to talk to you?

I waited for the bus, then got on the bus and next to me sat Mr. Annoying Cell Phone Talker.  It is 6:30 am – who the hell are you calling??

We got to Port Authority pretty quickly.  I got on the subway and came home.


Some final thoughts:

– I would rather travel all the way to Atlantic City and have a flight that leaves on time, than take one from NYC and be trapped in the airport for hours with no announcements and no clue as to when we are leaving.

– I am still willing to try leaving NYC at 6:00 am on my next trip, to see if maybe that will work

– My new money management, where I only bring half my budget and use my winnings to finance the rest, works very well for me.   In the past, if I had won, Id end up putting it back in at the end of the day with the thought “well tomorrow I have a whole new budget!”  With this system, it’s like a game to see how long I can keep going.

– I never made it south of Sahara, I never made it to Palazzo

– I need to use the local bus more often.  Not the Deuce. I need to use that less.

– My last two trips were too short (four days each) and were that way because of Spirit Air sales.   As much as I love saying “I paid $81 round trip!” I more prefer saying “I spent sixteen days in Las Vegas!”

– I did NOTHING except gamble this trip and I had a blast

– I forgot AGAIN to use my match play at Binions

– My next trip is in March

That’s a wrap!


Las Vegas Trip Report: Atm Rule: Do Not Go to the ATM Until You Have Zero Dollars

Wednesday, January 3, 2008

This is part two of a four part Las Vegas trip Report.  If you want to start at the beginning, go here!

I woke up from a dream that a housekeeper had come into my room to tell me she switched my home made “do not disturb” sign with a real one.  I had to actually open the door to make sure it was just a dream and it was.   My homemade sign was still on the door.

Well I’m up now so time to go out!   I am dressed and on the elevator at 8:00 am.  I am very tired and I have a headache but neither of these are going to stop me from being in Vegas.

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I lost a bit on Video Poker.   Played a Sun and Moon penny machine, got my Video Poker money back.   I ate at The Caravan Café to use my comps   It is really unfortunate that Sahara has such limited food options and none of them are good.

After eating, I went back to the casino and had a huge losing streak.    I ended up with only $30 cash left on me.  Ugh.  Good thing I only brought half my budget in cash or else I might have kept going. Which reminds me, let’s recap my ATM rule.

My ATM rule in Las Vegas is:  you are not allowed to go to the cash machine until you have ZERO cash left.  Singles do not count, neither does change.   This rule came into play after one year – I had $5 left and was walking to a cash machine when I spotted a new Lil’ Lucy machine.  I put the five in and won a $180 bonus.   If I had stopped at the cash machine, I would not have gotten this.  So now I follow this rule all the time.

This means that I need to lose this $30 before I go to the cash machine.

I board  a bus to downtown and lose the $30 quickly at the El Cortez.  I used my American Casino Guide for $10 free slot play here and lost that too.   Also, there was a problem where the ACG coupon code was removed from the computer system.  So the boothling used the Las Vegas Advisor code to put it in.  I reallllly hope this doesn’t screw me when I go to use the Las Vegas Advisor coupon on my next trip.

Once I lose the freeplay, I’m cash-free and ready to hit the cash machine.  But before I do, let me use my Binions free play – $20 – that I got from a mailing.

Well don’t you know it.  I sit down at a Double Double Bonus video poker machine and instantly I hit Aces.   $200.   This is why I have that cash machine rule.   I could very easily have missed out on this $200 win to take more than that out of the ATM.

I then went to play Press Your Luck.  If you read my last trip report, I did very very very well on this game.  Well that luck did not repeat itself.   I quickly lost $60.  At the very end, I finally got the Big Event bonus with a 3x multiplier.   It was the free spin bonus, which is the best one.   Yay!  I won….45 cents.  Uhhhh.  Yeah.

Screw you Binions, I am out of here!   I walked over to Fitzgeralds and decide to use my comps to eat at the coffee shop.  At this point I am starving and my head is POUNDING.

I had the worst service ever here.  First, it turns out they sat me at a table in a section that had no server. This would explain why no one ever came to take my order.  Although someone should have noticed me sitting there.   I made a dramatic display of reaching for the comment card and a manager came over and explained the problem to me.  She apologized and she took my order.  She also asked me to please make sure I don’t hand the host the comment card, to give it to her directly.  Then I got a waiter and he asked me to please not write anything bad about him because he had just come on duty and wasn’t assigned to my table when they first sat me.  What I got out of this is that Fitzgeralds must take those comment cards very seriously.

Note:  at no time did anyone offer to discount my meal for this or anything.   I seriously waited about 30 minutes for someone to take my offer.

After eating, I played some slots around Fitzgeralds.  For some reason, I found myself playing a lot of Flip Flop and its buddy Pick n Pop.  I did pretty well on these, surprisingly.   I would put a $5 in and if I doubled it, I would cash out.   When I had three buckets full of nickels, I would go up to the change booth and cash it in.  I’d ask for fives and start all over.   One of the cashiers did not understand what I meant by “fives”.  She asked me a few questions and then gave me tens.   No, fives.  Five dollar bills.   “Ohhhhh, that’s what you want?”.   Yes.

Then I started playing my favorite Video Poker machine in all of Vegas.  It’s a triple line nickel machine, with a progressive royal (all three royals are over $400 each).   It likes to deal me 4oaks.  It doesn’t give tickets, it pays in nickels.  I got dealt 4’s on here and cashed out.   I had cashed out a few times before this.   So I now had four buckets of nickels, which was nearly impossible to maneuver.  I finally make it to the change booth.  It is closed and I’m told I have to go downstairs.  I tried to but I could not get on the escalator holding four buckets because I could not seeeeeeeeeeee the steps past the piled high bucket of nickels.   Finally I remembered the elevator and had to walk back around past the closed change booth to get there.  While still carrying  all these buckets full of nickels.  So annoying.

Also on the topic of Fitzgeralds/cashing out and ANNOYING – allllllllllllll of their ticket cashing machines suck.   All of them.   You can put your ticket in and it spits it out.  You can try another machine, spits it out. You can go from machine to machine to machine and they will all tell you “go to cashier”.  All of them.  All the time.  Always.

Now is when I decided I was going to give Monopoly a second chance.  It’s the newer one, Supermoney Grab, with the top box bonus.   I have played this machine before.  If you line up three chance boxes, you get the bonus.   However, I kept picking the box with the free credits, not a real bonus.  Now I’m determined to play the damned bonus.  And I do!   Quite a few times.  I also got some big hits, like $20 at a time.  Okay that’s not a BIG hit, but when you are playing 50 cents a game, it sure seems like it.   I left this machine up $90.

Now I’m done for the night and head back to Sahara.   On the way to my room, I found a bank of Monopoly Supergrab machines and began playing.    I lost everything and stopped with a whopping $20 left.   Sigh.  At least I haven’t gone to the cash machine yet?

While I was playing, there was a family that included children sitting around. A couple of them were playing, one had a kid on its lap pushing the buttons on the machine.  I lit a cigarette and one of the elder people said in broken English “no smoke…..children.”   Um yeah.  See, the thing is – they aren’t allowed in the casino at all.  So basically, I’m not putting out my cigarette for them.   Ya know?   Security finally came and chased them all out.

Time for bed.

Want to read more?  Here are the next two parts: three and four.

Las Vegas Trip Report: Las Vegas by Way of Atlantic City

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Today I am traveling to Atlantic City, to catch a flight on Spirit Airlines to Las Vegas.  The total cost of the flight was $81 round trip.   I have never in my life paid that little for a one way, let alone a non-stop round trip.  What a great deal.

Another monumental event in today’s trip is that I had ZERO problems at all getting to the airport/getting to Vegas.  This has never happened to me before.   What a smooth trip.

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I left my apartment at 10:00 am and caught an 11:30 bus from Port Authority to Atlantic City.  I use Academy Bus and with every ten trips, the 11th is free.   Today is double swipe day so I only need to go one more time to get my free trip.   Woooooo.

I get to Atlantic City after taking a very scenic route (the driver got off an exit early and drove us all through Absecon and then all over Atlantic City before stopping at the Taj Mahal).  I got off and got my $20 cash back.   My plans were to shuttle from Showboat over to Ballys to collect my whopping $5 cash back, and then to see if I had any cash at Trump waiting for me.    I waited for the Ballys shuttle at Showboat for 20 minutes and it never came.  There were a LOT of people waiting and I figured that even if it did come, I wouldn’t get on it.   So I decided instead to play at Showboat, knowing this would be a huge mistake.

One $20 in, nothing.   Second $20 in, nothing.   Third $20 in, nothing.   This all took place in about five minutes.   Showboat was having a promo where every fifteen minutes, they were giving away $2008 – so five people got $502 each.  I was entered into the 3:15 promo and it was 3:03 and I had already lost $60.   I went outside to smoke and came back at 3:11 and decided one more $20 would be acceptable so I could try and win $502.

Well I didn’t win the $502 but I got four-of-a-kind 3’s with a kicker – $200.   Yay!   I should have stopped right there but of course, did not.   I ended up losing $100 out of my winnings, leaving me with the exact amount I left my apartment with.  So I guess my bagel and soda and bus ticket were free.

I headed off to the airport cursing myself because I know better.  Somewhere in there, I got a straight flush, and it was only my second one ever.   But even with that, I suck and ended up only even.   Okay maybe flying out of Atlantic City isn’t a good idea!

I got to the airport and had the perfect amount of time to smoke, go through security, get something to eat and get on the plane.   Except the plane was late.   Not by too much, but it ruined my perfect timing.

On the plane were two dogs (one was a working dog; the other was a cute little mutt who seemed to just be going on vacation).    I wish they had been in the seat in front of me, but instead I got three men who spent the flight talking louder than the sounds of a baby’s scream.   When the pilot came on to update us on time and weather, I could not hear him over these three idiots.

The middle seat was empty.  I have a knack for this.  I can be on a full plane and still manage to either get my own row or at least, an empty middle seat.

The flight was non-eventful and I ended up landing like ten minutes early, woooooooooo.   I love saying that.   To me, it’s totally worth traveling alllllllllll the way to Atlantic City to arrive on time in Vegas.

I took a shuttle to Sahara.   I’m here on an offer for three free nights.  I got room 2070.   It’s located right next to the Pepsi machine, which rules!

My room did not rule though.

Worn away desk Sahara Las Vegasdust on nightstand Sahara Las Vegaspeeling wallpaper Sahara hotel Las Vegaspeeling shelf paint Sahara hotel Las Vegasleft over new year's eve festivities Sahara hotel Las VegasRoom view.  Look how dreary it was outside. I love when Las Vegas looks like  this.

Room view of Fontainebleu - Sahara Las Vegas

[Editor’s note: This construction was the Fontainebleau Hotel, which was only 70% finished when it was abandoned in 2009.  Now it sits empty on the Las Vegas Strip, just wasting space.]

I went downstairs to get a new player’s card and the boothling couldn’t find me in the system.  I mentioned I know I’m in the system because I’m here on an offer.  She then said maybe I’d have to go up to the room and get the mailer so she could see my account number.   I’m not doing that.  I traveled all day and my room is at the complete opposite side of the casino from the slot club.  Finally she finds me.  whew!

Sahara has a promotion where every day you can swipe your card and win either free slot play or show tickets.   I did this every day and got nothing, but I still LOVE free promos like this.   Just the idea of possibly getting something for free excites me.

Now it’s late and I’m tired.  I know myself and I KNOW that the whole excitement of getting to Las Vegas always overcomes me. I always spend the first night losing but I can’t seem to ever stop because I just got here and want to stay out and play.   I allow myself a small budget and the first $20 lasts forever on a nickel triple line Bonus Poker machine. This is a good sign!   But it doesn’t last and soon I’ve lost $75.  I recognize the pattern here and I remind myself of how I didn’t stop when I was back in Atlantic City and how I regret it.  Somehow this worked to convince me to go to bed.

Want to read more?  Here are chapters two, three and four

Las Vegas, Nevada: Closing Day at the Westward Ho, Crazy Lady at the El Cortez and My Revenge on Loud Hotel Guests

So, shortly after booking my December trip to Las Vegas, I read that the Westward Ho would be closing their doors on November 17.  I wanted to go, but I didn’t think it was a good idea to have two trips so close together.   I’d have to fund this trip with my December Vegas funds and I didn’t really want to do that.   Of course, I didn’t abandon the thought.  I checked my Harrahs offers and found I had two free nights at the Rio.   Well that was it, I was going to Las Vegas to say goodbye to the Ho!

Thursday, November 16, 2005 – Day One of Four

I left work at 5:00 and took the air train to JFK.  I wouldn’t do this if I had luggage with me.  Most subway stops in NYC (including the ones at my home and my job) don’t have escalators.  But since I just had a small bag, it was okay.

JetBlue flight departing at 7:15pm.  Or it was supposed to be.   We boarded and the doors were shut the door at 7:10.  At 8:00 we got an announcement that it would be another 45 minutes.    I hate that.  I also couldn’t get my two favorite channels (Travel Channel and VH1 Classic).   That sucked too.

After sitting on the plane for about seven hours, we’re in Las Vegas!

I took a shuttle to the Rio.  I have two nights comped here.  I’m supposed to have a premium “suite” with strip view, but I don’t.   No complaints though as it’s free.   I get room 471 in the Ipanema tower.   The bed was so comfortable.  I love the Rio rooms.

Rio, Las Vegas. Room 471 in the Ipanema tower

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Rio, Las Vegas. Room 471 in the Ipanema tower

I walked over to the Gold Coast and play a bit.  Do the typical win/lose/win again/lose again thing.   Back to the Rio where I do the same.   I found some new IGT penny games and played for a while.  Finally it’s 3:30 am and I’ve been up 25 hours.  Time for bed.

Friday – November 17, 2005 – Day Two of Four

I ended up sleeping until 11:00.   Exhausted.   I go downstairs and lose some money on my way to the buffet.   The smoking section was closed for construction.  Eat and take the shuttle to Harrahs.    From there, I walked over to Wynn and get my name on my card since I am still holding onto a blank one I was given when they first opened.  Lose some money here.  Then continue to Westward Ho to be there when it closes.

The Ho is supposed to close at 5:00.  I got there at 3:30 and found out it’s closing at 4:30.   The deli was closed at 3:00.  Good thing I had no intentions of ever having a Ho Dog.

Westward Ho, Las Vegas - closing night November 25, 2005 - Deli Closing SignWestward Ho, Las Vegas - closing night November 25, 2005 - Deli ClosedWestward Ho, Las Vegas - closing night November 25, 2005 - Ho Dog Mural

As I walked up, the Ho Dog sign on the side of the building was being painted over.

Westward Ho, Las Vegas - closing night November 25, 2005 - Removal of Ho Dog Sign

The gift shop was completely empty and closed.  All the signs were dark.

Westward Ho, Las Vegas - closing night November 25, 2005 - Closed and Empty Gift Shop

Westward Ho, Las Vegas - closing night November 25, 2005 - Dark Sign Outside

I got on line for a margarita.  The man in front of me told me that when him and his wife got married, they stayed at the Ho.   He was really going to miss it.

Westward Ho, Las Vegas - closing night November 25, 2005 - Margarita Bar

Westward Ho, Las Vegas - closing night November 25, 2005 - Bar Closing Sign

I started playing and soon after, there were announcements advising everyone to cash out now.   We were repeatedly reminded that they were closing.  If you waited until the last minute to cash out, and you needed a hopper fill, you would have to wait a long time because they anticipated a LOT of people would all need hopper fills at the same time.  As machines were being abandoned, employees began taping over the bill acceptors.

Westward Ho, Las Vegas - closing night November 25, 2005 slots shut down with tapeWestward Ho, Las Vegas - closing night November 25, 2005 taped up slots

There were also announcements that the Westward Ho came in dancing, and we would be dancing on out at 4:30.   Employees were giving out party hats and party favors that all said “Happy New Year” on them.  I’m guessing they’ve been in storage since New Year ’s Eve last year.

Westward Ho, Las Vegas - closing night November 25, 2005 - Dancing on out the Ho

I cashed out at 4:15 and went around taking pictures.   They had a big display of past mailings and pictures of jackpot winners.

Westward Ho, Las Vegas, Nevada wall of postcards pictures

At 4:30, they had a marching band start going through the casino.   With everyone “dancing on out of the Ho.” It was like a parade and went around the casino a few times before heading out the back door.

Westward Ho, Las Vegas - closing night November 25, 2005 - Dancing on out the Ho Westward Ho, Las Vegas - closing night November 25, 2005 - dancing on out Westward Ho, Las Vegas - closing night November 25, 2005 - dancing on out 3Westward Ho, Las Vegas - closing night November 25, 2005 - dancing on out 1

At the reception desk by the back door, the employees were all waving good bye and saying “thank you!” as we all “danced on out the Ho”.   It was depressing as fuck.

Westward Ho, Las Vegas - closing night November 25, 2005 - Employees Saying Thanks

We go outside and the band plays “When the Saints Go Marching In” a few times while everyone was still dancing on out.

Westward Ho, Las Vegas - closing night November 25, 2005 - Parade Westward Ho, Las Vegas - closing night November 25, 2005 - BandWestward Ho, Las Vegas - closing night November 25, 2005 - Closing Ceremony

Westward Ho, Las Vegas - closing night November 25, 2005 thanks for the memories

[Note the nearly completed Hilton Grand in the background]:

Westward Ho, Las Vegas - closing night November 17, 2005 - Hilton Grand Being Built in Background

Then the Westward Ho’s Elvis impersonator exits.   Elvis has left the building – the Westward Ho is officially closed.

Westward Ho, Las Vegas - closing night November 25, 2005 - Elvis Has Left the Building

The last hotel guests:

Westward Ho, Las Vegas - closing night November 25, 2005 - Last Hotel GuestsWestward Ho, Las Vegas - closing night November 25, 2005 specials signs

I walked back out front and took pictures of the darkened signs:

alt=”Westward Ho, Las Vegas – closing night November 25, 2005″ width=”625″ height=”468″ />Westward Ho, Las Vegas - closing night November 25, 2005Westward Ho, Las Vegas - closing night November 25, 2005 - darkened signsWestward Ho, Las Vegas - closing night November 25, 2005 - darkened signsWestward Ho, Las Vegas - closing night November 25, 2005 - darkened signs

They had the whole front closed off by barriers that said “closed” on them.

Westward Ho, Las Vegas - closing night November 25, 2005 - ClosedWestward Ho, Las Vegas - closing night November 25, 2005 - Closed

Bye bye Westward Ho…..I’ll miss you.

Westward Ho, Las Vegas - closing night November 25, 2005 - Legal Chip Cashing Notice

I crossed the street to the Riviera.  I don’t know  why.  I don’t like this place too much.   I’ve done okay in their casino a few  times, but I don’t see the point in playing there.  I don’t like the hotel rooms and I never want to stay there ever again.   So playing there, when I could be racking up points somewhere else, is dumb.   But I am dumb so I lost a bunch of money there.

Riviera, Las Vegas, Nevada

I decide to get out of there and that’s when I have my revelation.  With the Westward Ho gone, I have no reason to venture north strip anymore.   I don’t like the Riviera, I can’t even bear the thought of walking into the Circus Circus (more because of haunting memories of the grown adult blowing snot rockets in the bathroom, than the kids running rampant), the Stratosphere is inconvenient, as are both the Hilton and Sahara.   They have you walking past pretty much nothing to get there.   And while the monorail argument could come into place here, I will counter with “Why am I going to pay $6 round trip to go to a casino that has no appeal, when I could save my $6 and stay where I’m already at?”.   I just really have no reason to go north of Wynn any longer.   Of course, I am typing this knowing I am booked at Stratosphere and Circus Circus in December.  But perhaps this will be my last time venturing further than Wynn on the strip.

We shall see.

While waiting for the light to cross to the Riviera, there was a family waiting next to me with two kids.  One of the kids started touching the porn advertisements on the pole.  The father reprimanded him.  The other kid said “I am overwhelmed at the lack of things for kids to do in Las Vegas”.   The light changed and people started walking so I didn’t hear the parents’ response.   But I wish I had heard the justification of why they dragged their kids to a place where one was “overwhelmed” at how there was NOTHING for her to do there.

I walked back to Harrahs and shuttled over to the Rio.  Dropped off my Westward Ho casino cups, walked to the Gold Coast and shuttled to the Orleans.  The shuttle driver seemed as if he wasn’t going to let me on without a room key.   But eventually he did.  I can’t tell if this is a prelude for what’s to come or not.   They do now have signs on the bus that say they are for hotel guests only.   This used to be the policy solely for the Suncoast casino.

I played a bit around the Orleans.  I kept losing at video poker so I turned to penny slots.  On my last $5, I won $100 on a Mermaids machine.   Yay!   I go outside and wait forever for the shuttle back to the Gold Coast.  Eventually  I got tired of waiting and went back in and lost my newly won $100 over a few hours of playing all the new penny slots over by the reception area.   I ended up cabbing back to the Rio, in a cab covered in Avenue Q Astroturf.   Very fuzzy cab.

fuzzy avenue q cab, Las Vegas

Saturday, November 18, 2005 – Day Three of Four

Up around 7:00 am.  Go to the Rio buffet and lose some more money on my way back.   I hung around the room a bit before checking out.  I took a cab to the Bellagio and got some pictures of the Autumn Conservatory Display.

Bellagio Registration - Las Vegas, Nevadabellagio conservatory8bellagio conservatory6bellagio conservatory3

Afterwards, I walked over to the Aladdin.  They have a $5 free slot play coupon in Showbiz Magazine ($5 totally free, not “play XXX and get $5 free”).   I used mine on a Laverne and Shirley slot and win $70.   After cashing out, I took a bus downtown.

For those of you who don’t know, they now have double decker buses going downtown.  They are called “The Deuce”.  They seem a lot more popular than the buses were before.  It’s more like a tourist attraction than a means of transportation.  Or at least, that was my opinion.    The bus crawled.  It took over an hour to get downtown, mostly because of all the people getting on asking 23943298742389 questions.   This is where I got my idea that these people were all first time riders, riding for the attraction.

We get downtown and I head to the Four Queens. All of my stays here have been in the north tower, so I ask for south tower.   I think this may be the first time I’ve ever made  a room request other than ‘smoking please’.  I won’t be doing that again.

I get room 1843.  Decent room, I think it’s a bit bigger than the rooms I had in the north tower.   But I think those rooms were king rooms and this was two queens so who knows.

Four Queens, Las Vegas, Nevada beds

Four Queens, Las Vegas, Nevada room view Four Queens, Las Vegas, Nevada room view2

I drop my stuff off and go to Binions for a burger.  I’m down a bit and rather than go to the cash machine, I decide to nap.  I started to set the alarm and then had the thought that I have not gone to sleep without the alarm set in so many months.  Weekends included.   So I decide to just sleep forever.

Forever turned out to be until the Fremont Street Experience started.   Eighteen floors up, loud as hell.  I never heard it in the north tower.  So north tower from now on it is!

Up and out I go.  I stop at Starbucks and then hit the Plaza for nickel video poker. I ended up playing for a long time.  When I come back in December, I’ll be spending a lot of time here.  Made my way back to the Four Queens and played some penny video poker before bed.   I hit four queens four times (at the Four Queens).   Yay!  Time to head back to the room.

I went to bed and about ten minutes later (2:30 am), I hear a door slam.   Loud.   Oh look.  The people next to me are loud.  Well I shouldn’t say “people”.  I could only hear one of them ranting and raving.  A woman. Who won’t shut up.  Ever.   She is SO LOUD I feel like she is in the room with me.  Whoever she is with, has pissed her off by picking his/her nose at the dinner table.  This goes on FOREVER.  I can clearly hear every word she is saying.   At 2:30 am.   This went on until FOUR AM.  All I could think was that this was MY fault because I requested to be in this tower.  Finally she shuts the fuck up and I go to sleep.

Sunday, November 19, 2005 – Day Four of Four

As always, last day = up at the crack of dawn to get in every last minute.   I’m up at 6:00 am and head downstairs.  I take advantage of the house phones by the elevator (both on the 18th floor, and then again in the casino lobby) to dial room # 1841 to wake up that loud woman who kept me up the night before.   Neener neener neener.

Breakfast was the Golden Nugget buffet, followed by iced coffee at Starbucks.  I’m ready to play, let’s go back to the Four Queens!  While playing, some man came up and tried to sell his glasses to the woman next to me. She wasn’t interested.  Then he started talking to me.  What’s my name, where am I from, etc.  I shooed him away with my hand and away he went.

Walked over to the El Cortez and started playing nickel video poker.   I kept getting four of a kinds.  Maximum coin was only 5 coins so for a quarter a hand, I was doing pretty good.

Lunch was at Careful Kittys Café at the El Cortez, paid for with a comp.   The food had no flavor, which I guess is better than bad food.

After eating, I went back to my machine and someone was on it.  Get off my machine!  She finally did and I went back.  I played for so long that my fingers were starting to cramp.  They really hurt.  This has never happened to me before.

Something else that has never happened to me before – I FINALLY saw one a crazy person at the El Cortez!  I must have been there about 25 times so far and this was my first time actually seeing one.   This woman was on a machine near my machine.  She put her ticket in the machine and instantly hit “cash out”.  So the ticket is there and the machine is beeping for her to take her ticket. Except she never does so it just keeps beeping.  Finally someone can no longer stand the beeping sound, so he goes and shosw her that she needs to remove the ticket to stop the beeping.  The crazy woman takes the ticket she puts it back in and hits cash out again and does not take the ticket again.   The machine is beeping like crazy.  She starts hitting every button and yelling about how the machine is broken.  Someone tries to help her (again) and she starts screaming and calling him a thief for trying to steal her ticket.   She sat there with the machine beeping for what felt like an hour.  Everyone was annoyed.  No one was going to help her after she flipped out about the last Helpy Helpteron being a thief.  Ugh – that stupid beeping sound.  She was talking to herself and drinking an empty beer and spitting all over the floor.  Finally an attendant came over to “fix” her machine and showed her the ticket.  She thanks him.  He walks away.  She puts it back in and hits cash out.  Beep beep beep beep beep.  That was it, I had enough.  I cash out and leave.

Sadly, I only had a couple of hours left before I need to be at the airport.  I thought I was going to take the bus there.  After about 90 minutes, we had only reached the Bellagio.  I got out, watched a fountain show and then caught a cab the rest of the way.

Bellagio Fountains - Las Vegas, Nevada

Flight home, uneventful.

And in 25 days, I shall return for my “real” trip.

Las Vegas, Nevada: Nearly One Decade Ago

I am working on a project of uploading all my old Las Vegas trip reports (there are somewhere between 200-300 individual days).  I am right now up to November, 2003. These pictures are all from that one trip.  I was kind of surprised when going through the disc these are saved on.  I have been going to Las Vegas so regularly that I have seen all the changes as they happen. But to suddenly look back and see all the changes at once kind of astounded me.

Here are things that either no longer exist, have changed, or were just being built nearly a decade ago.  I have plenty more pictures to share, many of things that no longer exist. Be patient and you shall see them all as I get further into this project.

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Aladdin: now Planet Hollywood

Aladdin Las VegasAladdin Las Vegas, Nevada

Barbary Coast: Now nothing (but should be something again soon)

Barbary Coast, Las Vegas, Nevada

Binions Horseshoe: No longer featuring Horseshoe

Binions Horseshoe, Las Vegas, Nevada

Bourbon Street:  Has remained an empty lot for many years, although now will be part of Harrah’s World (worst idea ever) 

Bourbon Street, Las Vegas, Nevada

Caesars Forum Shops Entrance:
Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, NevadaCaesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada

Fitzgeralds:  Now The D (that is such a stupid name)

Fitzgeralds, Las Vegas, Nevada

Key Largo:  I believe this was supposed to be high rise condos and instead is now nothing.

Key Largo, Las Vegas, Nevada Key Largo, Las Vegas, Nevada Key Largo, Las Vegas, Nevada

Lady Luck:  Sat empty for yearssssssssssss.  Should be reopening this year as The Downtown Grand.

Lady Luck, Las  Vegas, Nevada Lady Luck, Las Vegas, Nevada

Remember when Wynn was being built?  I had these pictures saved with the name “Le Reve”, as that was what it was going to be called at that time.  Later on, it was changed to Wynn. Wynn, Las Vegas, Nevada Wynn, Las Vegas, Nevada Wynn, Las Vegas, Nevada Wynn, Las Vegas, Nevada

Best Las Vegas Hotel Room Vs. Worst Las Vegas Hotel Room

I have been to Las Vegas more times than I have been anywhere else in the world.  I don’t keep a running count, but if you held a gun to my  head and made me answer, I would yell out “THIRTY!  DON’T SHOOT!”

I am in the process of a very intense project of uploading so much Vegas stuff on here.  But in the meantime, I will be doing some shorter posts.

Today, we will visit the top best and bottom worst rooms I have stayed in.   Please keep in mind, I am not stating these are the best and worst in the entire city.  Just out of what I personally have experienced.

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I am going to start with the best.  The Bellagio Penthouse suite.  Before my mother passed away, I would take her to Las Vegas once a year.  As it became clear that these trips would soon be ending as her cancer had reached the point where she was no longer going to be able to travel, I decided that I would make her last trip ever to Las Vegas the best one ever.   I booked a night in a Bellagio Penthouse Suite.

The room itself was fancy schmancy.  It had a living room, dining room, wet bar, three bathrooms (one guest, one his and one hers)

bellagio penthouse suite, las vegas, nevadabellagio penthouse suite living room - las vegas, nevadabellagio penthouse suite, las vegas, nevadabellagio penthouse suite dining roombellagio penthouse suite, las vegas, nevadabellagio penthouse suite, las vegas, nevadabellagio bed

But none of this mattered because of the view.  The view was incredible.  Note all the construction that was going on at the time that is now long finished.

bellagio penthouse suite view, las vegas, nevadabellagio penthouse suite room view, las vegas, nevadabellagio penthouse suite room view, las vegas, nevadabellagio penthouse suite view, las vegas, nevadabellagio penthouse suite view, las vegas, nevada

Then there was of course, the fountain view.  Oh except that of course, there is no fountain show going on because I spent more than one month’s rent on a Bellagio Penthouse suite and it was too windy outside for the fountain show to be running.   I am not even kidding.

bellagio penthouse suite room view, las vegas, nevada

My mother and I went outside and across the street and looked up at the Bellagio and picked out our room windows.  She got such a kick out of looking up at this beautiful building and being able to say “I am staying up there!”.  Even now, whenever I go back to Vegas, I always stop and stare at our room and think about that and I get all teared up missing my mother.

Later on at night, the wind died down and we were able to watch some fountain shows from our living room window.

bellagio penthouse suite view of fountains at night, las vegas, nevadaSigh.

Now on the opposite end, let’s talk about the worst Las Vegas hotel I have ever slept in. Binions.  At present time, Binions is not operating at a hotel at all.  But when they were, there were two towers.  One was an actual tower, and the other is what I like to refer to as The Creepy Tower.  The Creepy Tower was what was left over from the old rooms when the hotel originally opened as The Mint back in 1957.  These rooms were accessible via an elevator in the middle of the casino, that you would never even notice unless you were specifically looking for it.  Maximum capacity for this elevator I believe was three people.

When I walked into the room, the first thing that crossed my mind was the episode of Gilmore Girls where Lorelai and Rory spend the night at The Cheshire Cat.  The room was so busy and it seemed like every inch was covered in drapes.

(Don’t you hate it when people take hotel room photos with their stuff all over the place?  I used to do that.  I apologize and have since learned the error of my ways)

binions horseshoe - drapes of death - las vegas, nevadabinions hoseshoe - drapes much - las vegas, nevada

Adding to the ambiance of this room were the windows.  When Fremont Street stopped being an actual street, and turned into the Fremont Street Experience, these windows were permanently sealed and painted black to block out the light show.

binions horseshoe las vegas nevada

Even the shower curtain looked  like drapes.

binions horseshoe, drapelike shower - las vegas, nevada

What made this room even worse (yes, there is an “even worse” here) is that as I lay in bed, unable to sleep as I feared these drapes would choke me to death, the air conditioner was partially shielded by…drapes.  The vents were stuck in the up position so I could not get the air to flow into the room.  As the trip report I wrote to go along with these pictures says, that was actually a blessing in disguise since it meant I did not need to use a sheet or blanket to cover me.  The less of this room that touched, me, the better.

binions horseshoe - las vegas, nevada

Binions stopped operating as a hotel back in 2009.  I often wonder if these rooms are completely sealed off or if anyone regularly accesses them.  I picture a Stephen King-esque horror show going on behind these closed doors where the drapes have been growing continually for the past four years.

If you have a weirdo drape fetish and are drooling over the idea of staying here, maybe the hotel will reopen one day and you will get your wish.  Just be sure to pack light as this is the size of the closet.

binions shoe box closet, las vegas, nevada