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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Vintage Report - Vegas on $19 a Night, the Royal Flusher Way

Back in 2002, I took a solo trip to Las Vegas. For some reason, I took lots of careful notes. I didn't know I would have a blog in the future - blogs didn't really exist back then, or at least, I'd never heard of them. I also took lots of careful pictures. And I had, in a file, a bunch of stuff used in planning the trip.
Let's call it 'Vintage Vegas' because things have changed quite a bit, even just since 2002.

I stayed at three places - the Westward Ho, the Imperial Palace, and Caesars Palace.

The Westward Ho is all gone now, and the Imperial Palace has been rebranded, dethemed, defrocked, defiled, and refurbished as The Quad. And then rebadged as The Linq. And Caesars is still Caesars.

I take it back, it was impossible to defile the I.P. any further.

Let's get on with it. Here, for your reading pleasure, the never before seen anywhere Vegas exploits of Royal Flusher, doing it right, nineteen a night.

Tuesday October 8th, 2002

This is my tenth trip to Las Vegas but the first trip on my own. And, as an independent man, who need not depend on anyone else for such high adventure, I used 25,000 of Mrs. Flusher’s Aeroplan points to get my return flight from Flusherville Regional Aerodrome to Las Vegas and back again.

Westward Ho has sent mailings since an offer on alt.vacation.las-vegas was made some years ago. All you had to do was reply to them by email and get on the list, and they started sending initial stay offers.

It looked like this:

"In the past, The Westward Ho Hotel and Casino and I have offered you some great deals on room rates. It is time once again for another incredible offer. Haven't heard of us? We are located on the Las Vegas Strip, next to Circus Circus and the Stardust across from The Riviera. I am an avid reader (but infrequent poster) of this newsgroup, and I know that there are no better people to target when it comes to gambling than you! So before we all start to cry, here is the deal. Free rooms! Let me revise that a bit, free rooms for gamblers. You get 2 nights free and, you can have two more for $24.95 per night, if you need them. This offer is valid July 5, 1999 to September 2, 1999, Sunday thru Thursday. This offer is not valid for previously rated preferred customers. You may only book one reservation at this time and future room rates will be based on your gaming in our casino, so please obtain a preferred customer card and use it while you gamble in our casino. This offer is subject to availability and blackout dates. Please call our reservations department at 1-800-223-1709 to book your rooms. In order to get this deal, you must mention the "John G. Special". Thank you all for the great response we have had in the past, and we hope you take advantage of our offer in the future.
Mr. John Gjonola
Casino Host / Internet Marketing Director
The Westward Ho Hotel and Casino
http://www.westwardho.comLocated on the Las Vegas Strip!"

This kicked off a flow of offers from them in the mail, like the one I used for this trip:

I booked the special online, got 1000 points on my card, 2 nights free, a steak and "great" dinner show, and two breakfasts. No strings attached.

I booked the Imperial Palace for 3 nights - Thursday, Friday and Saturday. It’s important to have the weekend nights covered!

Then there was Caesars Palace for $69 on a weeknight offer, which came with a $50 dining credit. A later mailing tacked on a second night for free.

So, the net for my Vegas accommodations is $19 for seven nights.
Net access was hard to find in 2002.
Due to reduced demand on size 7 grommets at North American Veeblefetzer post 9/11, they announced that the Flusherville facility would be shut down for some months. Times would be very tight for the Flushers. But I needed a break.

I took a week to rest up by sanding, stripping and painting the garage door and other outdoor woodwork.

At last it was Tuesday. I did the ‘last-minute pack panic’ even though the plane was to leave at 3:15pm. When will I ever learn? (Note: I made this same complaint in a trip report in 2014, so the answer is, apparently, that I will NEVER learn. R.F.)

It was a small commuter plane from the Aerodrome to take us to a larger center - Toronto. The guy across the aisle and one seat up from me hacked and spewed and continually picked his nose. Nice.

He didn’t cover his mouth. Coughed every ten seconds - “KAHKKH! KAHKKH!” - with a bit of a whine to it. Yuk.

Where is my meditative serenity now? I planned to continue pursuing various kind and gentle psychic and reflective ways of taking the casino for all I could. And this was not a good start. I needed to get my mind and soul centered!

We arrived at YYZ and I took the shuttle from Terminal 2 to the exotic Terminal 1. Found the luggage and then joined a huge line for customs.

I always get nervous at customs. Not because I have anything to hide, but because of what they could do to me if they so desired.

The guy grilled me. “How do you support yourself? You an honest hard-working man? How much you got on you?...” And on and on.

I guess he wanted to make sure I wasn't going to stay in the country illegally, looking for illegal work on illegal grommet production lines.

Finally I was through, dumped my bag on the conveyor, cleared security, and made the refuge of the shiny, wonderful modern jetliner that would knife through the skies on a serene path to my place of respite - Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.


    1. Happy you are back for a look at what Las Vegas was and will never be again!

    2. We were in Vegas 5 weeks after 9/11. One thing I remember is how quiet it was. You could cut across the strip and not see a car for blocks. It was also cheap to stay there. We got $40/night at Venetian.

    3. Hi! My name is John Gjonola. You might know me as the guy that is mentioned in the email from the Westward Ho. The post brought back memories! Hope you had fun! ;)

    4. John! Thanks for stopping by. I will always have fond memories of the Westward Ho. I wish I had stayed there more often and played the hell out of the Jacks progressive. :)

    5. I hope you realize by now that those days in this report were the glory days in LV! The fact that you survived the Ho eateries and the IP buffet is prestigious badge for you! Was hoping to see a Westward Ho Ice Cream Social review in this one. The days of the mailed hotel confirmations brings back great memories. People who only know today's LV don't know what they missed. Would love to see any other old trip reports!

      Any chance you remember the "no toothpicks" sign at Roberta's in the El Cortez from that era? I'd give anything for anyone that had a pic of that sign!


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