By Mark Owens
Last weekend I spent 36 hours in Vegas. I managed to squeeze in a ton of gambling, drinking and just enough sleep to keep me going. I’ve mentioned in the past that I’m a creature of habit and love downtown. It’s not sexy, but if you are there to gamble and not looking for a hip club scene or need a topless pool to get your rocks off, it’s perfect. I also took this trip on the cheap side. I stayed in a comp (free) room, took advantage of plenty of free food/drink coupons and even talked my way into a limo ride from the airport to my hotel. Granted, I didn’t make a ton of money, ok, I didn’t make any money, but damn I had fun.
Here are my Top 5 Vegas Moments:
1) When I checked in at the Golden Gate (located in Downtown Vegas, off Fremont Street), they were booked solid, so I got an upgrade to a Suite. I’m usually not in the room long enough to appreciate it, but this spot was nice. Too much room for me, but it was nice to feel like a VIP for a few nights.
2) I finally figured out how to play craps and I loved it. I got on a “heater” and had the dice for over 30 minutes. We all made money that night. I even had a couple of Jersey looking meat heads calling me “Atlanta” and tipped me $50 after I made them a stack of cash.
3) Never paid full price for a meal or drink. Obviously, they feed your booze while playing in the hopes of keeping you around (and drunk so you play/spend more). I also used meal comps and coupons for the rest of my meals. Fridays dinner came to $22 on the bill, but I only dropped $5 for a tip. Saturdays breakfast buffet should have cost $18, but I got it for free. I can’t even count how many free drinks I had. Hey, I was in Vegas, it’s what you do.
4) Free Flight, Room and Limo Ride. I used my American Express Points for the Flight, the casino offered free rooms and the Golden Gate offered to have a limo pick me up from the airport. I’m not a high roller, I think they just feel bad for me and want to give me a few mins of feeling like a rock star)
5) Putting $20 on the Dawgs to win the SEC Championship. It’s only a $140 payout, but still, it felt good to bet on UGA.
Now, with the good comes the bad. Vegas can break your heart too.
Here are my Top 5 Vegas Crap Moments:
1) Smoky Room: I also cashed in 2 nights at the Main Street Station Hotel and Casino. The place has been around for 50 years and I don’t think its been updated since day 1. My room was a smoking room and it had the ashes of a million cigarettes in the walls, carpets and bed. I tried to rest for a few hours, but the stale smoke smell killed me.
2) Drama in The Air: On the flight from Atlanta, the attendant asked if there was a doctor on board. That will pucker you up. Apparently a lady was having a bad reaction to something, it wasn’t serious, but that was a few tense moments.
3) Strange Dude Creeping: Playing Downtown is not sexy and it’s close to the homeless shelter and bus station, so you get a lot of “urban campers” looking for a handout. They are mostly harmless, but Saturday morning while on my way to catch a cab, I felt something was off and turned to see a dude right up on me. I don’t know his intentions, but it was enough for me to tense up and throw my chest out (to look bigger than I really am). He walked away, but still, it was an odd moment.
4) Drunk Gamblers: While playing Craps at The Palm a few guys were drunk and cursing really loud. This doesn’t bug me because, it’s Vegas. However, they started dropping the n-word over and over while yelling at the other players. This made the entire table uncomfortable. The Pit Boss asked them to calm down, which pissed the guys off and they left. We gave the Pit Boss a golf clap.
5) Losing My money: I know, I know, they don’t build Vegas on winners, but aside from a few good runs at the Craps table, I couldn’t win. Losing sucks and it feels like a waste, but I can justify it by saying I got a bunch of watered down drinks.
With that said, I’m already planning Vegas: 2016. No, I don’t have a problem.
Well, maybe.
Mark
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