Las Vegas, Desperado, Ron Jeremy, and R.I.P. Stardust. 1/2-1/9 2006

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Thursday, January 12, 2006 2:04 AM
Wow! Lots to do in 8 days. First stop was the brand new Boyd Gaming owned South Coast. What a rockin' joint. Love the uniforms of the coctail waitresses. Great buffet. 9/10. This place is visable from miles away on I-15.

Shopping. Not much, except a stop at the Silverton's Bass Pro Shops, the Bonanza, and a walk about at the Desert Passage.

Time for eatin'. Green Valley Ranch buffet. This place is bangin. They even make milkshakes. I enjoyed an excellent oreo vanilla one. 9/10. Rio Seafood pleased as always. 9/10. Love those dancers.

Peppermill. 9/10. Sahara for breafast. Blaah! 5/10. Was that meatloaf at 8am? Who knows. Primm Valley for a measly $8. You have to love 'cold fried chicken' on the salad bar section. Thats all I have to say about that. 6/10.

The winners go to the Boardwalk Surf Buffet, which had loads of fresh fruit, and had a made to order grill with asparagas, portabello mushrooms, squash, and NY Strip steaks. Always friendly folks there. 10/10.

The grand prize goes to the Stardust for brunch before the Steeler game. 2 kinds of brisket, awesome omlets, and bacon that should be consumed with every meal. 11/10.

Showtime. Finally made it to the Stratosphere. HUGE crowds. Saw 'Bite', the topless vampire show. With a rockin soundtrack, that opened with 'Welcome to the Jungle' that shook the kick walls, and carried many a tune and starred a long haired flame juggling vampire who didn't speak, a tall blond who stood on her hands and juggled a hula hoop, and a lead dancer who can have my Platinum Visa any time she asks, 9/10. Its worth the $40.

Did I say $40? No. By going to the tickets for less across from the Stardust, I paid a mere $22.95 with charges. Buy, the real steal is the Sahara all day Speed pass for $9.97. I don;t think anyone has mentioned that on this site. That is a bargain.

Sports Book. Took in the Orange Bowl, (We are..Penn State!) at the Paris. 8/10. The Aladdin's has moved theirs across the casino floor to the promotions desk. I hope this is temporary, but since gen-x-ers' are pretty ignorant to gambling, I do not think Planet Hollywood will expand it.

The Stardust Book had 2 armed security guards on site immediately after Carson Palmer was injured against the Steelers. I myself watched the beating, which I enjoyed, in the Starlite Lounge, complete with plasma tv's, fat drinks, and solid ambience for the discreet fan. 10/10.

The Venitian hosted the AVN awards, and the place was jammin as people waited to see the stars. My buddy was nice enough to get me Ron Jeremy's autograph. Again, the camera flashes from cameras were blinding.

Took the drive to Primm to ride Desperado. Suprisingly, the flume was also open, but the mall closes at 8pm. I had the back seat, with no wait time on a Friday at 9pm. This ride still rips and roars like an Arrow hyper should. 9/10.

No luck at the machines, but I took 18th in a poker tournament at the Sahara, which is where I stayed, and my thoughts are what did the rooms look like before they were remodeled 10 years ago? Sahara...5/10. At least my view from the Tangiers Tower had Speed the Ride and the Stardust.

Now the sad part. First, the Boardwalk closed for good on Monday, 1/9. I got to stay there once for 3 days, and loved to gamble there. I even saw the 'Unknown Comic', Murray Langston on my first trip to Vegas in 1997. After 38 years of discount entertainment, I will miss the place. It was the budget haven on the South end. I guess the Hooters Casino or the Klondike will have to step up.

It was also announced of the closing of the Stardust by Boyd Gaming, who will rebuild a mammoth resort in its place. Those who know me know the Stardust is my favorite casino in the whole wide world. I will be saddened.

Price of the Stardust to build in 1958, which was the largest casino and hotel in the world, and held that record for 15 years...$4 million.

Price to replace the Stardust with the Echelon Resort, which will be the largest casino and hotel in the world...$4 billion.

Price of my happy memories including seeing Wayne Newton, the adult hot tubs, lying in bed in the West Tower and seeing a thunderstorm come over the mountains into Vegas, watching Steeler games in the Starlite Lounge, seeing 'Enter the Night', security tossing out locals head first through the doors, the incredible Sports Book, Swenson's Ice Cream, Coco Palms Buffet, Islander Cafe with $6 prime rib, hearing 'Call Me' and 'In My House' rip over the outdoor sound system, standing in the rear parking lot and hearing the neon on the massive West Tower, basking in a 'purple' room with the curtains open, hearing all the true stories that led to the movie 'Casino', and being a proud stockholder who brought all first time visitors here as the the first stop on the strip with all happy memories.......Priceless!

Rest in Peace, my old friend. July 1958-January 2007. *** Edited 1/13/2006 8:51:46 AM UTC by Agent Johnson***

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Thursday, January 12, 2006 4:07 AM
That was an interesting review of Las Vegas. I've always thought Sahara was a dump, although i've never stayed there, I'm more of a Luxor and NYNY person myself.

I'm surrprised you rate the Boardwalk Surf Buffet so highly, isn't that the one thats open 24 hours. I think I went in there at 3am once and the surroundings, food and people were disgusting; it looked more like it was a halfway house for ex cons than a Vegas Buffet.

Haven't done the Rio Buffet, but the Aladdin Buffet is outstanding, it's quite expensive, but worth every penny and far better than the Mandalay Bay one.

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Thursday, January 12, 2006 9:35 AM
Well, I ate around 4pm, sort of lunch, and then the NY strip steaks were carried out. I have been there at 3am, and you won't make any culinary top-100 lists then.
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Thursday, January 12, 2006 12:18 PM
I think the Sahara is kind of a dump, but when I was there in 2003, the buffet was actually pretty good.
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Thursday, January 12, 2006 2:55 PM
When we went the Sahara buffet was horrid. But the main eatery inside the casino was not bad. The rooms were any standard hotel room fare but for only $35 a night when we stayed there how can I complain. That was a bargain!

Best buffet when we went there was at the Aladdin. Sadly it will soon become Planet Holliwood. Hope the buffet stays. It wasnt cheap but the food was GREAT.

Best non-buffet place we ate at was a little restaurant in the Venetian overlooking the Gondola pond (indoor one). Very nice and romantic setting with excellent but expensive food. Still worth every penny.


Grant said:
I'm surrprised you rate the Boardwalk Surf Buffet so highly, isn't that the one thats open 24 hours. I think I went in there at 3am once and the surroundings, food and people were disgusting; it looked more like it was a halfway house for ex cons than a Vegas Buffet.

Funny you say that....when we ate there some drunker than a skunk guy was getting hassled by the security there. Now that was entertainment! LOL! *** Edited 1/12/2006 7:58:40 PM UTC by beast7369***

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Thursday, January 12, 2006 2:56 PM
I was working, so I was 'put up' at the Sahara. It was worth the $36/night we were charged on Sunday, but not the $399/night on Saturday. No casino has rooms worth $399/night.

Last year I was in the Flamingo at $55/night, but New Years it jumped to $499/night. Not worth it at the premium prices. The trend is for folks to stay at the locals properties, and rent a car, or use shuttles.

Its a shame, since during the week, everything old school is cheap, but you get beat up on convention weekends. The best rate is still the Stardust. Play for a few hours, and you get the first night for $37-49, and the next night is free.

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Thursday, January 12, 2006 4:02 PM
Did the 9.97 Speed pass include the Nascar Cafe's Cyber Speedway racing simulators? I go down to the SAhara a bit and always fork over 20 bucks for an all-day pass that includes both. Still a deal, though.
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Thursday, January 12, 2006 6:12 PM
It did include the whole she-bang. Its original price was $19.99, then discounted to $9.97. There is like a $3 service charge, but it still works in your favor. I was suprised to see it.

I just plain ran out of time to ride them, since I was working and spent my full day off at the Stardust. Next trip, I am buying it.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 12:46 PM
Oh man I really need to get back to Vegas. I miss it. That was a colorful review, Agent Johnson. I loved it!

Ron Jeremy? LMAO! That's hilarious.

I am very curious about these topless Vampires. The last time I was in Vegas I stayed at the Stratosphere Hotel but don't remember seeing that show advertised. It sounds......interesting.

Then again we only spent one night in Vegas.....not NEARLY enough time. I am not a gambler but I just love Vegas. The Speed:The Ride deal was a bargain. That's the only coaster in town I will probably reride again. It was kickass!

I might ride Despy again. We'll see. ;-)

Next time I will have to spend at least 3-4 days out there. I still need to see "Thunder From Down Under" :-P.

I have stayed at the Strat (I would LIVE up there ON the tower!) as well as the Excalibur. Both were decent. I didn't really pay much attention to the Sahara but it looked ok.

-Tina

*** Edited 1/17/2006 5:48:29 PM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 12:55 PM
I'm strictly "new school" when it comes to Vegas. I love all the new mega-resorts: Bellagio, Luxor, NYNY, the new Caesar's, the new Mirage, the new Aladdin, etc. The older places (Imperial Palace, Barbary Coast, anything north of the curve, most things downtown) mostly creep me out.
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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 1:37 PM
lol Den, my wife and I are the opposite, we always stay downtown (a heck of a lot cheaper btw) plus it is only 5 minutes from the strip.

You know, the last time we went to Vegas I think Ron Jeremy was at the DSM airport, too weird.

If you're looking for a great breakfast buffet, Palms or Rio is my personal favorite, although Silverton's was pretty good too.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2006 10:45 AM
I have hit all three of those. Silverton is a great casino. That Mermaid show however, is a dud by all standards.
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