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Saturday, May 7, 2016

Planning the $1000 Las Vegas Vacation - part 7 Filling in the Blanks

I'm enjoying planning this trip as much or probably more than actually living the last trip. Things are falling into place but I have to do some more detailed work on the itinerary so I have lots of activities to keep me out of the big bad casinos when the bankroll runs out.

Here are a few updates to fill you in.

New Cup O' Flusher!


I have been on pins and needles wondering if the Tropicana will repeat the great offers I got for April and May (4 nights, $100 food, $125 free play, free show tickets). I called them a few weeks ago to see if the June offers were visible - they weren't.

I called back the other day and the June offers still aren't showing in the system, but the helpful and sultry-voiced Reservation Sheila offered to book my nights comped, and if the offer came later, I could add it on to the reservation. So that's what I did.

And no resort fee on the comped room, she said.

Meanwhile, after I ripped the Plaza a new one about hiding their resort fees, I think it's only fair to update you.

When I updated my reservation, cutting it down from 4 nights to just 1, I got a confirmation email that was much clearer than the one I got when I originally booked. (That one was just lines of text and the resort fee price was buried in it.)

Here's what the latest confirmation looks like.

So instead of rating 10 out 10 on the Sleazesort Feeometer, the Plaza now rates 9 out of 10 on the Sleazeort Feeometer. They didn't disclose anything about the fee during the booking process, but it looks like, when their systems are working right, they are at least clear about it in the confo email.

I am still not sure if the Trop is going to come through with a June offer or not, but there was an interesting development on MLife MILF this week - some additional offers were available for booking, including 2 nights at Mirage comped, with $100 free play and $100 resort credit. There are enough days between my Luxhole and Mandalay Bay stays that I could harvest a third MILF offer this trip, in between, right on the dates I booked the Trop for.

Just as I was about to go back and book it for insurance, all the summer offers disappeared from MILF. As usual, their system is unpredictable, unreliable, inconsistent, unfathomable, irrational, and even when working to the extent that you could actually find and book an offer, sucks internet syphilitic arseholes. In the metadata sense, of course, not to be rude or anything.

Meanwhile, in the Golden Nugget department, there is sadness. I got a June offer in email the other day and it includes a big hunk of freeplay available for both QQ and I... for the day after I leave Vegas. If I'd only known this was coming, I would have stayed an extra day. I did my due diligence and called the Nugget to find out when free play was active before I booked my flights. But that's the way the nicotine-stained deal button bounces.

Coupons and Groupons

The Las Vegas Advisor Pocketbook of Values arrived! So I'm good to go on that front. There are a crapload of match play and free play ones in there, and lots of food ones too.

To some extent, I will get punished for being a Single Lonely Diner because many of the deals are buy one get one free. But quite a few of these also offer 50% off for S.L.D.s. I could partake of as many as 16 half-price buffets if I use them all. Urrp.

I had a look at Grope-on and got the email thing rolling where they send me up to 99 emails a day listing endless Grope-ons for Las Vegas. (I also signed up Norbert, the boss at Royal Canadian Veeblefetzer, to receive up to 99 Grope-on emails a day for 28 different cities. That should keep him off of Movie Star Makeover for a few weeks until he figures it out.)

There are some decent values coming through on restaurants and shows. The restaurant ones are usually skewed to two diners though.

The next thing is I have to do is have Jimmy Poon plot the most efficient and effective route to do coupon runs for the Strip, for off-Strip, and for Locals properties. I can handle the downtown plan myself. It can't get any simpler than stumbling from downtown casino to downtown casino, holding the coupon book high in one hand like a drunken Statue of Liberty.

The other thing is, I have to decide how far afield I'm willing to go to use a coupon. Do I really want to drive out to the Desert Whole suburb of North Las Vegas to use the "100 credit bonus for a quad in a denomination matching the calendar date our bartender lost her virginity for the 65th time" at the Col. O. Positive's Leather 'N Chaps Punk Rock Line Dance Pool Room and Saloon?

I'm pretty desperate though, and 66 times is a charm.

Anal Retentive Overplanning

I calculated that there is a 82% chance that I am guilty of over-analyzing things. This tendency also leads to over-planning. But when you are a cheap bastard, making use of every coupon known to man or beast, it comes with the territory.

I've been playing with Trello as a way of keeping track planning for the trip. I have a Trello board that is a catch-all for all the activities I'm considering, and another board for a rough schedule. Normally I would have Jimmy Poon do a spreadsheet for this stuff, but Trello is really easy to use.

My schedule board has a list for each day. It will be easy to rejig things on the fly because with Trello, you can simply drag items from list to list, something that isn't as simple on a spreadsheet. (Michael James, you should take a look at Trello.)

(The one thing they missed is this - you should be able to have a date marked on an item and a series of lists with dates, and when you move that item to a different day, it should update the item's due date.)

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge

I have a four hour delay in Toronto on the way out, and the same on the way back (but no life-crushing red-eye!) so I'm trying to figure out how to get into the Maple Leaf Lounge. (I can't buy access on a points ticket.)

Passes are available on eBay and such for around $40. I saw some that were cheaper and sent a message on them yesterday, but nothing has come back yet.

There is another lounge, the Plaza Premium lounge that anyone with cash can pay to get in. And, I found a $10 off coupon on line. The Plaza Premium lounge, I think, has a bit more you could make dinner out of than the Maple Leaf Lounge. Like real protein, meat even. Both have an open bar.

For $30 or so (with coupon), I could hang out in the Plaza Premium lounge for a couple of hours, and have dinner and drinks. I'd likely pay about the same for dinner out in the airport. So maybe I'll give this a shot.

New Business Cards

I can't believe how many business cards I've left around Vegas, many of them with bartender Mike at the Mike's bar at the Four Queens. I've even handed a few out in person to very savvy readers of this blog.

Believe it or not, I'm almost out. So I did an update of the design and put some extra special super savvy info on the back of them. And, I'm getting Signature Glossy stock!

Ordering through VistaPrint is really an endeavor. Just when you think you've completed the order, they start laying on all the additional things you could buy with your artwork slathered all over them. You name it, you can put your name on it.

They have a pretty good system for taking your uploaded artwork and showing you what the various items would look like. See for yourself!

I ordered one of these so Jimmy Poon could keep the blog running. He'll love it!
Make America Flusher Again!
Wall sign? I'm IN!
How about something for the yard in Flusherville?
I ordered ten or twenty thousand of these new business cards, on nicer stock than the last ones, so there will be a lot more chances for you to find them around Vegas. They should arrive well before I leave. I ordered some stickers too, to leave here and there around the casinos.

I still remember the story about a reader who follows me on one of the Vegas boards that I frequent, who was reading a trip report while in Vegas, saw a picture of a business card I'd left on a machine at the airport, and then happened to sit at that machine, and found (and presumably safely disposed of) the offending business card.

Anyway, if you find one in town, let me know about it!


    1. Flusher--are you playing myVEGAS on Facebook? It's totally FREE to play--you get points to start out playing and then collect more as you play the various slot machines. The playing earns you rewards that you can turn into free buffets, free room nights etc. It takes awhile to build up enuf points -- so it might not work for this trip. . . . but for future reference? Also, can play via your notepad and/or smart phone and link to your same "game" to build rewards faster. Both you and your wife can have a separate account. Be sure to set it up to a legit Facebook account--as you have to prove you are the person you say you are when you redeem the rewards. (ie--REAL name and ID) Also, besides the LVA coupons do you have the American Casino Guide coupons? Go to: Check out the coupons and see if there's any here that would be helpful. I think they're selling it for like $14 US now . . . Just some thots--LasLuvr

    2. What's on the back of the cards? BJ strategy or what full pay VP should be for all the popular variants.

    3. Totally agree on ACG, & many of the free play/match plays are same places as LVA. I haven't rented a car for last several trips, but still figure I get my value just from downtown. I'm leaving for Vegas tomorrow(4 days @ Fremeont & 4Q). I consider it a challenge to come home w/ as much money as possible & that means staying at 4Q most of the time. I virtually never pay for room or food, except an occasional coupon buffet. Last trip in Jan. was worst ever(worse than yours & my losses came in only 4 days. I play fairly heavily tho. Most trips I make money & hope to get back on that schedule. Most of the week, if I'm not at $1 JOB or DB, I'll be @ 4Q "street" bar. I'm easy to spot...bald fat ole fart w/ suspenders. Stop & say Hi.

    4. I stayed at the Tropicana on 4/22,23,24 and 5/6,7,8 and also received free play and food coupons. The best part was that these were comped weekend dates, which are difficult to obtain. There were no stupid resort fees, yet you had access to the various amenities, including WI-FI. The rooms are big and spacious. However, there are some things to watch out for:

      1) The showers are one of those one knob abominations that control both temperature and pressure. Unfortunately, the shower head is non-adjustable, so you feel like you're being sandblasted! I had to duck in and out of the water spray, because it was quite painful.

      2) I ate my meals at the Beach Cafe, and whatever you do, DO NOT order the Steak dinner. Half of it was inedible gristle. The Filet Minion was okay, but I reccomend the Turkey dinner. You get a generous portion for $17.95 (though the vegetable portion consists of two small carrots, and three tiny pieces of Broccoli).

      3) The only times that the $25 and under 3/2 Blackjack games are available are on Fridays and Saturdays after 8:00. All of the other times, they deal the rip-off 6/5 version.

      4) Most of their video poker games are of the short pay variety. Also the image on the machines are scrunched together because, incredibly, they put advertisements on the bottom of the screen.

      1. Great info, thanks. I managed to find a couple of decent VP options, didn't look at the blackjack. Maybe I will be playing craps at the Trop instead of blackjack, if they have low limits in the morning.

    5. Definitely go to Mt. Charleston. Good time waste of a couple hours. You leave the valley floor at 90-95 degrees and at the top it will be 65-75 or so. There is a nice little park run by the tribes with an info center and nice paths to walk around on. This is a few miles from the top. At the top there were a couple options for hiking. The best part was putting the car in neutral and coasting down the killer road. 85-90 car-lugeing. Watch out for the smokies though.

    6. Unfortunately, the minimum bet at the craps table is $10.00---24 hours a day. It doesn't matter if it is 8:00 at night or 8:00 in the morning. What's worse, no one plays craps there! They have two tables, one is usually empty, and the other one usually has no more than two or three players. It is very difficult to get anything going under those circumstances.

    7. I'm intrigued. Next April my wife and I are doing two days in Vegas, she is flying then to New Orleans while I stay for one more night, then I join her in New Orleans for two nights before flying back to Milwaukee.

      That gives me 10 months to play with it!


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