Thursday, September 22, 2016

Restaurant Reboot at the Cal - The Latest

The California Hotel and Casino, lovingly known as the Cal, is a wonderful low-key old school Las Vegas property that has hardly changed in thirty years.

So, let's change it completely, they thought.

Boyd Gaming, who owns many gaming establishments including the Cal, Main Street Station, and the Fremont, has given the casino proper, the lobby, the sports book, and the bars a top-to-bottom eyebrow arching tight-cheeked Wayne Newton facelift. Not that a casino actually has a face to lift, but you get the metaphoric idea.
The wonderful low-key old school IFOR, lovingly known as the Cal.
They aren't stopping there, though - the past couple of years have seen a retooling, revamping and rebooting of most of the drinkin' and eatin' places in the Cal.

And some of the changes are surprising.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Where's the Comp Love?


As planning continues for the Big October Trip (yet to be themed), I'm continuing to learn more about the comp system - and how to make it work in your favor fail.

There are three pieces of advice to less experienced Vegas gamblers you will hear over and over:

  • Always play Max coins
  • Never play for comps
  • Never eat fruit in the dark

But as travelers to Vegas, as vacationers, those comps have real value and form part how I evaluate a property and whether it's a good play.

Here's an example.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Part 7 - Wither 'The Hat'?




The wrap-up from 1999. What a trip.

We had no idea that we were experiencing the last vestiges of a Vegas that was still sitting somewhere between the ways of the 50's and 60s that were hanging on by a thread, and the new corporate Vegas that would eventually actually charge for parking, as if to say "You want to come in here and lose your money, well you're gonna have to pay us to do it."

One thing that hasn't changed.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Part 6 - Dreams Come True If You Throw Enough Money At Them




Here's part six from the long long ago trip report, back when the comps were easy and the machines full-pay.

We were at T.I. - people called Treasure Island that right from the get-go, so the official sign rebranding to T.I. was a savvy choice.

This day marked a huge change in our gambling mindset. In a way, its the dividing line between people just screwing around in Vegas for entertainment and people realizing that gambling could have a winning side.

We'd never be the same.

Fortunately, the Quad Queen was able to capture it in photos, and, like a mob stool-pigeon who's between a rock and a hard place and ready to sing, I was wearing a wire. Because Sonyc-Vysion(tm).