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    Sunday, May 19, 2024

    The O'Hare Snare

    Day 09 Wed Dec. 10, 1997

    Pack up, time to go home. We went down to the Gold Chamber booth to get our meals comped. We bill all our meals to the room and they usually comp them after. The previous three times we've gotten most of it back.

    Last time they comped about $80.00 worth and also gave us a $30.00 comp for the Pyramid Cafe for our play after we'd checked out. We had a long wait for the plane that trip.

    Anyway, to make a long story short, they screwed us around. The rep said we had 3 hours play. She offered $30.00 off our meals. We argued for quite a long time. I asked to see the boss, and she phoned up for advice. She offered $30 and comp meal which we now had no time to eat.

    She still insisted we played for 3 hours, even though we generated 1200 points (at $5.00 per point) I asked her how you can do that playing quarter machines? That's 4800 plays on a quarter machine in three hours.

    The boss came down and found we played 20 hours each. But she still would not comp all our meals. They were much better last time. Their computer records are incorrect and unreliable. She said we played mostly dollars last time but this isn't so. Our budget was the same, too.

    Compared to the treatment we got at Treasure Island, this was pathetic.

    We got $30.00 in cash back for 40 hours of play total.

    We are very disappointed in Luxor and won't stay there again. Guess where we'll be? Treasure Island! Its better located on the strip too, with lots of other options nearby for gambling, shopping, entertainment, and eating.

    Off to the airport. There was snow at O'Hare and our plane is delayed.

    The plane to take us to Chicago originates there, so we have to wait for it to arrive. The delay is three hours. We lose our shirts on the Airport slots and VP.

    Because of this delay, our connecting flight home has already left when we arrive. They announce on the plane as we near landing, "Sorry, we have no connecting flight info. It will be available when you land."

    Bull-shit! They don't want to tell us on the plane what they already know - there *are* no connecting flights and we are screwed.

    Sure enough, when we get off the plane they hand out sheets telling us how to get a room for $59.00 (reduced rate - I'm supposed to be happy about this). They hand out little 'overnight kits' with toothbrushes and deodorant in them. I grab 8 of them. I hate American Airlines.

    We fly with them because we generate points with their affiliate, Canadian. When we fly on points, that's who we have to fly to Vegas with.

    They claim that since the delay is weather related, they won't give us a room for free. But I challenge this. The flight *to* Vegas was weather delayed. Because they chose not to replace that airplane with another for the flight *from* Vegas, we missed our connection and had to wait.

    Karen and I decide to spend the night in the airport as our flight home leaves at 6:30 AM. We decide to see as much of O'Hare as possible and start walking. At the end of concourse H, we get talking to some American employees. They offer to get pillows and blankets off the incoming flight they are waiting for. When this flight arrives, they are handing out those sheets to passengers who are connecting. After they are all gone, this nice American staff person hands us a sheet for a free room at the Westin! We are saved.

    Cool, a comped room at O'Hare. I didn't think it could be done.

    American was willing to screw us for the night. We had a reasonable night (2 hours sleep) in comfort due to serendipity and the thoughtfulness of one employee.

    When we arrived at our gate in the morning, I recognized fellow passengers sleeping on the carpet who had had to spend the night in O'Hare.

    I will be writing to American about this experience. The weather delay was BS. A fellow traveler also from Canada, had her mother down in Vegas with her. She was flying out on United. Their planes were scheduled to leave Vegas 10 minutes apart. By the time our friend got to O'Hare, her mother was in bed in Toronto. No weather delays on United!

    All in all, even though it ended poorly, this was our best trip ever.

    Hope this trip report isn't too long!

    I hope you enjoyed this retro trip report. Many things have changed, and some things (airlines) are just the same.
    We did stay at T.I. but as the comps dried up there, we returned to Luxor, our first and favorite Vegas home.
    It would only be a couple of years until Luxor was swallowed up by the corporate oligopoly and plans for de-theming it implemented. I'm still not over how they ruined the place.
    But I am so thankful that we experienced a different kind of Vegas on our early trips, and that I have mementos like this trip report to enjoy.
    I hope you enjoyed it too.
    Royal Flusher

    Steak and Eggs Hold the Steak

    Day 8 Tue Dec. 9, 1997

    Our last full day in Vegas. 25 cent VP in our quiet area at Luxor. K did well with four 2s and a series of wins. Ended up up $75.00. A great start.

    Cab to Mirage. Saw no rats.

    Played the usual there and then over to TI. No luck on the dollar VP at all. It just drained away. Had some luck on nickel doubling, winning 500 nickels or so. Then time for another free lunch at the Lookout Cafe.

    Polishing off the traditional custom-made butterscotch sundae with added chocolate brownie - The Dessert.

    Their slot club just keeps comping us meals! We got more cash back as well - $15.00.

    Collecting those coins on top of the machine... so much fun!

    "Invested" $100 at dollar VP - couldn't get anything going at all. Maybe our heads were already on the plane home, because we lost at everything. More nickel VP at Mirage but no Royal this time. I lost a quick $10.00 at roulette there.

    Back at Luxor I had an amazing run on quarter VP. One $10.00 in, I played 132 hands. On the second $10.00 in I played164 hands. However, I didn't hit any significant wins. Karen had two 4-of-a-kinds and a win streak to get $50.00 back.

    Ate dinner at the Pyramid - Steak and eggs are $2.99 after 11:00. I had that, hold the steak (its not very good - I think they 'whipped up a winner' if you get my drift.)

    K had the reliable club sandwich. Jammed all our winnings back into quarter VP but couldn't get the win we were looking for.

    Thursday, May 16, 2024

    A Wonderful Dream

    Day 7 Stardate Mon. Dec. 8, 1997

    We found these quiet Bonus VP quarter machines near a waterfall in Luxor and enjoyed playing there. I hit four Aces for 400 quarters. At Excalibur, Karen hit those four 8s on the same nickel machines again.

    Played a prominently placed end of row 5 nickel Wild Cherry machine (near the front desk) and won a whole bunch of nickels. Grabbed a cab to TI.

    Tried the dollar VP but it was cold and lost money. We ate a complimentary buffet. Its pretty good there. 

    Cabbed up to the Stratosphere to try the full pay quarter VP there.

    Signed up for the slot club and started playing. I had the most incredible run on this quarter Bonus machine. It was like a wonderful dream - it kept paying and paying and paying. It seemed like I won every hand. My initial 10 quarters built up past 100. Then past 200. We kept resetting our stop loss point. Then 300. I cashed out and played the rest of the roll with not much else. What a great start.

    Karen hammered on nickel VP and had a very long run while I futzed around with quarter slots and video BJ. You have to get 50 points to get full membership in the slot club - at that point you get a free buffet.

    Would you believe Karen earned 42 of the 50 points on nickel VP? (I think its 40 hands per point!) She played for a couple of hours on $5.00. Damn she's good! She wasn't hungry so I ate the buffet. They have an amazing variety of pretty good quality food.

    Grabbed a cab to the Hilton to check out the Space Quest Casino. It was a disappointment. It looks okay, but not as good as I'd hoped.

    The uniforms are cool, but the space 'windows' showing planets and spaceships go by look hokey as hell. They are obviously poor quality projections. Very disappointing.

    The place was dead. Just to rub it in, we won $53.00 on quarter slots there.

    I think they'll do better when the attraction opens. They'd better! If you do go, make sure you check out the washrooms. Nuff said.

    When you're at the Hilton, you've gotta give a hunka-hunka burnin' love to (underexposed) Elvis.

    Back to TI, but no luck there. Lost on everything. Our luck seems to be run out. Ended the day with our budget gone after loosing the last of it at Luxor. Can't win every day, but I wish you could!

    Boy the days of giveaways, free plus, and slot club incentives! Sign up for a card at Strat, get 50 points, get a free buffet. You usually got some crappy keychain or your 792nd bungee 'card keeper' cord clip springy strangle tool thingy when you signed up, too.
    I remember when the Hilton's SpaceQuest project was announced. We were so excited! We had visions of a hotel environment completely themed to feel like you were on the Starship Enterprise. We imagined turbolifts, and fake star displays out the windows of the hotel. And the casino would be out of this world!
    Well, it ended up that the casino was the only part that really got built. (I don't know if they ever really planned a themed hotel, we just assumed it would be an immersive thing.)
    The attraction mentioned was one of those jiggly movie rides where you get in a pod that is on hydraulic legs. It was called Star Trek: The Experience and wouldn't open until the next year. We did come back and ride it, of course. It was similar to the jiggly movie ride at Luxor, except Star Trek, not Cleopatra. The Luxor one made my Anubis sore.
    At least they had Quark's bar. And when you were done there, the men's room had one of the most interesting choices for theming. While you used the urinal, a display at eye level did an 'analysis' of your vital pee signs. Men have bad enough aim without throwing a Starbase TV into the mix.
    There was a promotion for a while at the casino where you got to try to unlock a vault and win some huge prize. I think maybe it was a million dollars. It was kind of fun. You went and stood on a little platform and things were displayed up above the casino. You had to make a series of choices (Pluto, Earth, or Uranus?) and if you got to a high enough level, you won a prize. To get the grand prize, you had to get through all the levels, guessing correctly each time. I think one time I won a shirt or something. Of course, to win the million was ridiculously hard, but it was fun to play!

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