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Wednesday, October 19, 2022

All the Vegas Moving Pieces

Carl listened from behind the Dairy soda counter, and allowed Dad to slide into our booth to sit in Showtime's just-vacated seat next to Dwiggie.

I think he was just happy that Dad wasn't trying to work at something, so Carl didn't try to sweet talk him back to his La-Z-Boy recliner upstairs or anything.

It was like big boy story time, the lads listening intently while I went over my plans. Occasionally one of them would cock his head to one side when I got to some interesting detail, and I think I saw Jimmy Poon raise an ear at one point.

And now it's your turn to hear about all the moving pieces in play for a return to Fabulous Las Vegas.

For starters, we head back to the Greacey Palms Senior Putt-Putt Trailer Park in Florida in early November.

As Canadians, and Ontario-ans, there are some rules at play that have affected how I plan Vegas trips.

To keep our Ontario health insurance, we can't be out of the province more than 212 days per year. And to avoid being considered a resident of the US for tax purposes, we can't spend more than about 180 days in the US per year. We also have to fill out forms that testify as to our closer connection with Canada than the US. It's complicated - ridiculously complicated - and not worth talking about in depth. (If you're curious, there's a detailed explanation here - but suffice it to say, we don't want to screw up our health insurance or mess with the I.R.S.)

On top of all that, we have purchased out of province medical insurance that covers us for only a certain number of days.

This is why as long as we are wintering in Florida, we can't take many/any trips to the US during the summer months.

Trips to Vegas generally will have to happen from Florida.

With all this in mind, I set to planning my return to Vegas, another solo excursion as disappointingly, Mrs. Flusher preferred to laze around the inflatable pool at the Greacey Palms.

It was time to take stock of what offers, airline points, and so on I had at my disposal.


  • didn't want to fly Spirit
  • didn't want to fly Frontier
  • had about 22,000 American Airlines points
  • had about 10,500 United Airlines points
  • terrified of the Southwest boarding process, although they have some direct flights from Tampa
  • can't use WestJet dollars when departing from a point in the US
  • no Aeroplan points left
There were some American Airlines flights that would work and I was far enough out that I could book using miles with the Super Saver rate. But I would have to flim-flam around and find some ways of generating more miles. The AAdvantage Shopping Button had a bonus for installing it - so I did. United's MileagePlus has a button too, so I installed that.

On the United side, in the past I've done surveys on to generate MileagePlus miles, so I got busy at that. I did surveys and more surveys.

The extra AA miles came through and I went to book - but the price in miles had gone up. I ended up paying $70 for miles to get over the top.

Flights - sorted.

Room Comps

Most of my offers have dried up due to inactivity during the pandemic. At Boyd, with their new system, I'm persona non-gratis, as it were. I have no comped room offers at all.

You might recall that my old host at the Cal came through for me with a three night comp on the Triumphant Return to Vegas trip.

I made sure to take care of her after the fact with a nice $75 gift card - and two days later found she'd retired just after my trip.

So I was back to square one. I managed to get in contact with my old host and asked for a referral to 'somebody I could work with'.

That came, I contacted the new host with a request, and waited a day. Boom, a booking confirmation arrived in my email. I never even heard back from the new host, and I don't care.

The game will continue!

As far as other comp room offers go:

  • Plaza, Golden Nugget, Derwood properties (D, Circa, Golden Gate), El Cortez, Four Queens - nothing good
  • Caesars  - some crappy offers that include resort fees at crappy hotels that treat you crappier and crappier lately - no thanks until they get their shit together
  • T.I., Tropicana, Cosmo, Wynn/Encore - nothing good
  • Wynn Slots game was still a possibility but I'd have to shell out $200 to be able to book 2 nights at Wynn, and would have to pay resort fees on top of it. Theoretically I could book a second 2 nights after the first stay was done and 3 nights had gone by, but I'd have to have a backup reservation and wouldn't know until the last second if I could get 2 more nights booked. I decided to keep it simple and skip this for now.

I still get decent offers with MGM Rewards and found a fairly reasonable one for Bellagio. I really enjoyed the casino on the last day of my last trip in May and I've never stayed at Bellagio. 

I booked four nights. Three were comped, and one I have to pay for. I have to pay resort fees for all four nights as a lowly 'Cardboard tier' member of the rewards program.

I get $50 freeplay and $50 resort credit.

4-Night Stay - Your MGM Rewards Offer!
Adjusted Room Subtotal
Room Estimated Tax*
Resort Fee and Estimated Tax*($45.00/night plus estimated tax*)
Room Total*

Gosh, I'm 'saving' $1000 off rack rate. Including the freeplay and resort credit, that's 4 nights at Bellagio for $172.11 or basically $42 a night. I'll take it.

If I don't make Pearl during my stay (or get approved for the MGM Rewards Mastercard) I'll have to pay for parking too, if I book a car.

With the trip mostly sorted, I noted a few emotional storm clouds starting to gather.

Hurricane Ian took his place in the worry center of my brain well ahead of time, when I read a headline that said 'Hurricane likely in Florida in a week'.


We watched closely and sure enough, the eye was forecast to go very near the Greacey Palms. Would we even have a trailer retirement manufactured home to return to?

And to shake things up even more, the Quad Queen made a pronouncement.

"I want to go with you this time after all."

Throw the plans out the window and start again.


    1. Glad wifey is coming. I love her sarcasm and winning ways.

    2. Looking forward to Quad pics, now that the Queen is going. Also FYI, Southwest has direct flights from Tampa. Non-stops are very hard to find here in Florida right now!

      1. Ah yes, excellent point. Non-stops are very hard to find indeed. The super-budget airlines have them but their departure times are horrid.

    3. Glad to see you are returning again, I am looking forward to putting the business card you kindly left at Circa last trip to good use when we fly in to town next month. Have a safe a profitable trip. Cheers Graham

      1. Cheers, mate, have safe travels, a great time, and superluck!!!!!


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