|Welcome to Impossible.|
Sunday, May 27, arrived for 360 Vegas Vacation 6. Lyft didn't long haul me; my wife and I checked into Park MGM around 11 AM. No chance to try the $20 trick, as the human check in line was too long, Pearl status is too low-class for the VIP check in line, and the kiosks just hand out rooms with no options. (It could be that my first name, "J", also threw off the system, as it choked on my check in and required intervention.)
The room at Park MGM (formerly Monte Carlo) was newly remodeled, but done on the cheap -- "IKEA quality" is how some of us described it. The poorly-leveled shower floor didn't drain properly, fixtures were caulked poorly, the bed was generic white without a touch of color, and the walls are paper thin. For "comped plus resort fee," it's fine, but not a home run.
Lunch was China Poblano, as good as ever. After drinks at Luxor and a group limo ride downtown, dinner was Pizza Rock (thanks, Ryan and Rebecca!). I next walked up to the California, through its upstairs construction zone, across the skybridge, and played video poker for five minutes before discovering Mark and Dr. Mike were planning on craps at Downtown Grand. Sigh. Back to DTG. Fun times, and as the game faded, I left up $11. On to a little video poker at the Fremont for a bit, then back to the hotel for the night.
|Also: Not Labor Day|
My wife took a nap as I headed out to Toshiba Plaza around 2:30 PM to catch the 5 PM Golden Knights in game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals. The crowd was insane. I've been to Seahawks home games, legendary for their volume, but those didn't even compare to the volume here. My ears were still ringing 24 hours later, and the energy... I'll probably never make it to EDC or Life Is Beautiful, but the crowd here was so incredibly upbeat.
Next, we Lyft'd to Paris and had dinner at Yong Kang Street. Service was a little slow, but that's fine, we were in no rush. Lyft'd back to Park MGM, tucked my wife in, and then wandered the south strip for several hours losing money at VP and slots.
|Me on the right somewhere. Photo from VGK Twitter|
I met up with the crew for drinks at NYNY, then walked back with them to the construction at Park MGM. Group craps at Tropicana was quick and painful; across the street to the Dismal Castle was also quick and expensive. Todd, Tom, Sandy, and I left that group to play Face Up Pai Gow at NYNY, which also took my money, but at a much slower pace. Once I got felted, I checked my wallet: only $50 left for today's budget. Time to slow play at Chandelier.
After dinner at Secret Pizza, it's time for drinks and slow play. Drink tickets still kicked out at a reasonable pace. An hour or so later, I tweeted:
After I turned down a hooker, the guy to my right at Chandelier hit a $1600 keno win. Then moved to my left and did it again 3 minutes later. I turned down his offer to blow it at a strip club. #360VV6 #OhVegas pic.twitter.com/BzyqWcqnSh— TravisL (@laurict) May 30, 2018
|Two can keep a Secret.|
Wednesday, May 30: A noonish breakfast with my wife at Mon Ami Gabi. Yummy food, great people watching, and a minor slot win at Paris. Based on a tip from someone I talked to on Toshiba Plaza during Monday's win, we hopped a Lyft to WalMart in search of a Golden Knights tank top for my daughter at home. No luck, but we found a cheap T shirt for her.
Back to Park MGM, where my wife napped while I headed downtown to watch the Golden Knights game 2. Before the gates opened, I got a new "One Club" card from The D, then took it to a $1 Top Dollar machine at Golden Gate. Ten $2 spins later, I hit a $360 payout, my biggest win of the trip. The Downtown LV Event Center is much less intense than viewing the game in Toshiba Plaza. Chairs and tables help, and it's not the packed-in-festival-crowd feeling. I'd do the Toshiba Plaza viewing again in a heartbeat, but twice in a week is too much.
After the game, I Lyft'd back to Park MGM, and my wife and I walked to Julian Serranos Tapas at Aria. We ordered the marinated olives, the Coca Vegetarian (kind of a deep-dish cheese Boboli), and the Tender and Crab (beef tenderloin and dungeness). It was easily the best food of the trip. I ditched my wife back at the hotel, and as is my tradition, I spent my last night on the strip walking as far north as I dared and then back. I walked up the east side to Encore, then back south to TI and Mirage, calling it a night at around 2 AM.
Thursday, May 31: We dropped our bags at the bell desk and walked over to Bruxie for breakfast. Service was friendly, but the metal shaving in my wife's egg sandwich eliminated our appetites. Her food was appropriately refunded. We played slots for a bit at NYNY, then grabbed our bags and headed to the airport. The trip was over far too soon.
Good food, great camaraderie, fun never-before experiences, and learning the spas ain't my thing -- another outstanding trip is in the books.
|Stanley Cup finals at DLVEC|
A few observations:
- Video poker was not kind to me anywhere, and slots were only good at Golden Gate. This is my third-largest loss trip in 23 trips, and my biggest loss trip since October 2015. Still, I came home with about 50% of my bankroll, so it wasn't *that* bad.
- 14 out of 16 times, Lyft was a cheaper option than Uber. Lyft line was sometimes amazingly cheap, like my $3.53 ride from Park MGM to The D. True, it was 41 minutes with two intermediate stops (Elara and Silver Sevens), but that was time I needed to take anyway to answer some work e-mails, and I think that still makes it faster and cheaper than The Deuce.
- Most rideshare drivers have no idea how to get to Park MGM's pick-up and drop-off area, and don't trust the GPS. One driver took nearly half an hour to find me.
- Park MGM is a decent place to stay if it's comped, but so's Excalibur. As I discussed with someone else, the changes are unlikely to make a shift in prices -- especially not a Cromwell-like change -- other than perhaps Parke Carlo and NYNY will swap places on MGM's room product heirarchy.
- Park MGM is a terrible name. Nobody knows what you're talking about, and assume it's MGM. Its name might as well officially change to "Park MGM Formerly Monte Carlo," because that's how I had to refer to it all week.
- I didn't spend nearly enough time at Cosmo. I also don't know when I could have fit more time in.
- Hookers are terrible at feigning interest in discussion of MGM Resorts shareholder expectations