Friday, October 2, 2009

Downtown Las Vegas aka Fremont Street Experience

This is a still pic, my movie files are too large to upload. The hubby and I love to go downtown. He actually likes staying down there, I have mixed emotions on this subject. Part of the draw is that gambling seems to be a little better and the casinos are closer to one another, you can walk out of one right into another. The ceilings are lower and therefore smell really smokey. We have stayed in Fitzgerald's, El Cortez and the Plaza (see room pics on the right). Another reason we love to go there is the hourly free 15 minute light shows on the canopy above Fremont Street. The entire street darkens and every casino shuts down there marque lights and the show begins. I recently became aware of a show schedule on this site Fremont Street Experience, we really enjoyed the "Kiss over Vegas" the last time we were there, but we are fans of the band too. We always rent a car while in Vegas so getting there isn't a problem. It would almost be an impossible walk from The Strip unless you were a seasoned walker and have lots of time to kill. I would not recommend walking it after dark. You do have to pay to park if you aren't staying down there. We always park at Main Street Station, pay $2 and then go inside and get the $2 back at the cashier cage. Last time we were there, no one was working the parking lot booth so we didn't have to pay at all. If you don't rent a car here is a Tripadvisor tips page on how to get there, although its dated 2007 its will give you an idea on how to get there. I hear that taking a cab there is expensive. If you are planning a trip to Vegas plan a trip downtown at least one day and evening (to see the show) of your trip.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Free to do in Las Vegas

This is just about the most thorough list of free to do in Las Vegas that I have ever seen. This site also has a great free coupon section that can be used by anyone not just locals.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Atlantic City "ain't" no Las Vegas

My over all free stay at Showboat in AC was a positive, however Atlantic City in general should take some lessons from Las Vegas. We ate at 2 buffets while there one at the Trump Taj (used a BOGO free coupon in the American Casino Guide) this lunch buffet was $21. That is not a typo food is very expensive in AC. The second buffet was at the Showboat for a dinner, was $22 but free via a food comp. Maybe its just the way it is there but I found a lot of rudeness, people jumping ahead in lines, touching food with their fingers and NOT putting it on their plates (I actually watched a lady reach in and pick up a roll with her fingers, even though there were tongs there say it was too hard and put it back) blah! It also must be common to eat with your fingers while in line or else these people were starving and couldn't wait until they got to their table. AC needs to put up signs addressing this issue - NO EATING WHILE INLINE - It was not only once or twice that I witnessed it. Ewwww! The dear husband again did better with his gambling budget than I did. I lost my entire bankroll for the two days and he managed to actually win $70 over his allotted gambling money. I found the video poker pay tables to actually be better here than the Harrah's properties in Las Vegas which was opposite of what I had expected. I only hit one quad for the two days (pretty bad huh?). My hubby managed to hit quad aces on a DB .25 game paying him a cool $200 with his first twenty in. That man of mine has the luck this year. Will maybe post a few pics later.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Las Vegas May 2010

We haven't even made our trip to AC yet but we booked our airfare for our annual spring trip to Vegas. This is the earliest we have ever booked but got a great deal and couldn't pass it up. We booked with Delta, May 29th 2010 through June 5th 2010, 25,000 miles with one stop each way, one layover 1 hr and 24 min. and the other layover 45 min. for a grand total of $20 taxes and fees for both tickets. We are working on our free rooms. I Love Harrah's as I can book 4 free nights this far in advance but will likely have to wait until next spring to finalize the other 3 nights at another property. We are hoping to only have to move once this year but will move more if necessary.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Atlantic City, NJ

Although I know it's not Las Vegas, Atlantic City is like a mini Vegas and is a bit closer to my home. We are making a 2 day trip to AC next month Sept 14 - 16th. We are season ticket holders to Richmond International Speedway for both Nascar races and since we are only going to be 5 hours or so away we decided to drive on up. We have been to AC once before and honestly wasn't all that impressed. Made the mistake of visiting Vegas first. Unlike Las Vegas you have to pay to park at almost every casino, dining was VERY expensive and other than the ocean (which is cold that far north) they just don't have the entertainment and things to do and see that Las Vegas offers. You know you can't gamble 24/7. I am hoping to maybe recover some of my losses from Vegas this spring. Harrah's properties has offered us those two nights comped based on our play in Vegas. I am really beginning to love Harrah's.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Nathan Burton

Nathan Burton the subject of two of my blog post has auditioned for America's Got Talent for the second time. AGT 2009 They will see him in Las Vegas! He is already there. If he should win it all I am sure that he would get a BIG production show but it would be a loss for the frugal vacationer because with big production shows come BIG $$$ fees. Good Luck Nathan Burton! He is good enough to go all the way.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Las Vegas continues to be "on sale" in regards to room prices. We generally get most of our rooms heavily discounted or comped (free), the last two trips were ALL free. Here is another site for the frugal Vegas visitor, this is the link to the page with discount codes. We make a Vegas trip at least once a year so its easier to earn room comps. If you are an occasional visitor this page has current discount codes to get the best price for the paying visitor.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

I love this web site and I would love it even more if I lived in Las Vegas. In one of my previous post I mentioned about a great deal that I got on tickets to see Nathan Burton with an added bonus of a free buffet, you can print these out online before your trip with this link Nathan Burton + Paradise Buffet and you don't have to venture out on the strip looking for them. Print this out and take it to the ticket box office, they will give you tickets with a detachable free buffet tear off on the bottom of the ticket. So that you are aware there will be taxes and fees attached of about $5 for each ticket, your final cost will be over the $20 advertised deal. This is a 1 hour 4 pm show. Wasn't the best magic show running on the strip but getting the buffet and show tickets at a discounted rate makes it all worth while.

Friday, June 26, 2009


We always try to get over to see the Fountains of Bellagio when we are in town because I love to see the fountains set to the music. These pictures are taken from inside The Conservatory and Botanical Gardens an area often forgotten but is a must see for any visitor. This garden changes; I believe with every season; and has the aroma of many a fresh flowers. No matter how much you want to DON'T touch or interrupt the dancing water!!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Valley of Fire

The Valley Of Fire is a State Park about an hour outside of Las Vegas. We have talked about making the trip over several times and were so impressed with Red Rock Canyon (visited 2 years ago) that we decided this was the year. First let me say that although the pictures that we took are beautiful they do not however do justice to the beauty of this park. Not counting the two hours that we had in driving my husband and I spent 4 1/2 hours driving through this park stopping, walking and climbing and taking many, many pictures. Outside of the colored neon that is Las Vegas everything there is tan or brown, its the desert and I don't expect it to be green like OHIO so when you see something that is not tan or brown it really stands out as beautiful. This is a day activity and probably earlier in the day the better. It was very hot and although we did take a small cooler of bottled water with us we didn't take enough as desert walking makes you very thirsty. The hubby and I consumed six 16.9 oz bottles of H2O and two 10 oz bottles of diet Pepsi and were still so thirsty. There is a gift shop that doesn't sell water (they should consider this as they could make a small fortune) but they have a water fountain that you can drink from but cannot fill water bottles (I assume because its very expensive to get water in the desert). Fee is $6 per car and this is a drive through and stop park. They also have fee based camping if that's your cup of tea but I saw no water hook ups. In my opinion if you have a rental car its well worth the drive to see a different side of Nevada.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Shows in Las Vegas 2009

We went to see two shows this year, three if you count Big Elvis's free show at Bill's Gambling Hall. This was really a good free show and I would encourage anyone with some extra time to see it. We went the cheapo route, no BIG name shows this year. Went to see our first topless show Jubilee at Bally's. It was very tastefully done. All of the women in the show have non augmented breast. We used a BOGO and were offered upgraded seats row 1 (not the table seating). We paid $35.00 for both seats. This show has been running in Las Vegas since 1981. We missed the opportunity to see Folies Bergere before its final running earlier this year so we decided to give the old a try. The second show that we went to see was The Magic of Nathan Burton at The Flamingo. We couldn't find a BOGO offer for this show but somehow deep down I knew there was one out there. I waited in line at the box office and asked about a BOGO and the young man told me that they didn't have the coupons and that he wasn't sure where we could get them. I said ok and thank you and left w/o buying the tickets. I told my hubby that we needed to walk The Strip and see if someone was offering them and thats what we did. Within minutes of going outside there were two young street magicians doing card tricks and money tricks, they had the BOGO coupons with an ADDED BONUS of a coupon for two free Paradise Garden Buffets to be used within 7 days. They request that you watch their 5 minute magic act to get the coupon and they have a great sence of humor. They will ask you for a money Bill to preform a magic trick on, have a one or a five ready. They will give it back to you after the trick but ask you for donations before you put the money away, you should donate it to them for their coupon (thats what we did). The tickets ended up costing $50 for two and the bonus was that on Friday for the dinner buffet was a seafood buffet that was regularly $22.00 per person. A great deal for free. My advice is look for BOGO's, I was inline behind people buying show tickets that I knew there were discounts out there, if they would have just looked in one of the many free magazines all around Vegas they could have gone cheaper.

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner! The only quad that I missed taking a picture of was my biggest hit, I hit quad 3's on a DDB machine paying me 400 credits or $100. I mainly played JoB and still managed to lose most of my bank roll this trip. Guess you can't win every time. I usually play quarter video poker at $1.25 a spin unless I am losing badly and then I play nickles. I rarely play reel slots but was low on my budgeted cash for the day when I hit 10,320 credits or $103.20 on a penny machine (first pic above and on the right). Maybe I should take a second look at those penny reels. I was only betting .60 a spin on a 30 line machine and cashed out for $120.00.

More winning shots

Me and Moneymaker

We were staying at the Rio during the start of the 2009 WSOP. The highlight of my trip was running into the 2003 WSOP champion Chris Moneymaker, who I must say is a SUPER nice guy. I made eye contact with him walking down the hall and asked aren't you Chris Moneymaker and before he could even answer I asked do you mind if my husband takes a picture of us? He said sure and put his arm around me and posed while my hubby snapped the picture. He handles his fame with dignity and was so willing to stop and give a poker fan an opportunity to have her picture taken with a poker millionaire. Kudos to him being a down to earth poker star.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Paid for coupon books, yes they are worth it.

These are coupon books that actually cost money to get the coupons. You may ask why would any frugal vacationer pay for coupons. I will gladly answer.... because we save more using the coupons than we actually spend to purchase the books. We buy these two every year and always receive enough benefit from them in $$$ savings to more than pay for them.The one on the left is the American Casino Guide and can generally be purchased on Amazon for under $13 a list of the coupons here American Casino Guide there are coupons for many casinos throughout the US, we use the ones listed for Nevada - Las Vegas. The book on the right is from the Las Vegas Advisor web site. This coupon book is a little more pricey but this book comes with membership benefits including access to the forums which are a wealth of knowledge for visitors and locals alike. The cost of this online membership + coupon book is $37/year, there is also a hard copy membership + coupons for $50/year although we have never paid for this option. A list of their coupons Las Vegas Advisor. It is important to note that we always rent a car while in Las Vegas and are able to get the maximum benefit of the coupons by having one as most of the coupons are for off strip casinos. If you are staying at a Casino on the strip and not renting a car it would be hard to use enough of the coupons to offset the cost.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Shows in Las Vegas

I believe that Las Vegas is the entertainment capital of the world. There is so much to do and see even if you don't gamble. We try to take in at least one BIG show during each of our trips and as many cheapo shows that we can fit in. Big Name entertainment does not come cheap in Las Vegas so this is an item that we always budget for. If its one of the very popular shows tickets may need to be purchased several weeks in advance. I love the Cirque du Soleil shows. We have seen Mystere, Ka and Beatles Love (we actually got to see the first public show opening night). We won tickets to Stomp on a free pull slot machine at Planet Holloywood Casino promotions. I won tickets to see Monty Python's Spamalot at Wynn from an internet sweepstakes from Casino Travel News. When Rosanne Barr was doing her one woman show at NYNY we actually bought tickets to see this show that was way less than what I expected. There are 1/2 price ticket brockers in Vegas and some prices are just discounted and not 1/2 price, although we have never purchased tickets from them that is a way to see a show on a budget. Don't expect to get tickets to "O" or Le Reve there but I have seen Mystere & Ka tickets heavily discounted. There are lots of one drink minium shows (you have to buy at least one drink and see the show for free), however be aware we have paid anywhere from 6.95 - 9.99 for that one drink and thats each person. You could order simply a fountain cola and pay the same price as an alcoholic beverage. Please note that your bartender or server will still expect a service tip even though you are over paying for this beverage. Tipping in Las Vegas thats a whole new future posting. There are also alot of BOGO free coupons in the local newspaper and the visitor magazines for comedy shows.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

All rooms this trip comped, that means FREE!

We just found an offer for one of our past play casinos (The Orlean's) for a free night for May 24th (Sunday before Memorial Day). Actually it was for 2 nights free but we only needed one because we already have the other 5 nights comped already. That Sunday is always a hard night for us to get for free because of the long holiday weekend. This Casino is also giving us $10 in free eats as part of the room offer so indeed they are paying us to stay woo hoo! We so love to gamble at this place too because of the wide open spaces, clean air and good pay video poker. So we will only be staying at one new (never stayed before) casino this trip. Thanks Orlean's, Rio and Plaza

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Renting a car, staying off strip

We always rent a car when we are in Vegas initially because it allowed us to book a cheaper room off the strip. Las Vegas has always been one of the cheapest places to rent a car. Prices are up because of the daily LVCRF (Las Vegas car rental fee). In my opinion, most of the rooms that we have slept in are very similar with the exception of downtown. SEE MY ROOM PICKS RINNING DOWN THE RIGHT SIDE OF THIS PAGE. My guess is that visiting gamblers gamble more in the casino where they are staying. Casino's have to stay up to date on rooms to continue generating business. We have been known to sleep in three different hotels during our 6 day trip. We are actually staying in three this trip. Some might say I would hate that (my husband did initially) but the way I look at it is I spend very little time in my room, a daily shower and sleep and if casino A will give me 3 night and Casino B will give me 2 nights free, I'll take it. I take any free rooms, meals or casino play that I am offered. These are comps and Las Vegas is full of them but they aren't actually free, usually based on play ($$$ spent gambling) at their establishment.