Trip Report 2.20-2.25 Golden Nugget
Started by boomer751 on Saturday, 2nd March 2013 10:20 am
Long time VT fan, rarely post or comment here and this will be my first trip report. Thought I'd finally give it a shot!
First and foremost, super giant mega thanks to Chuck and the rest of the VT gang for creating such an informative and fun community for us Las Vegas freaks. No site even comes close.
As the subject line says, this trip was from the 20th to the 25th of February. That in itself begins some of the interesting information about this report as the trip was originally planned to be the 20th-23rd but because of the blizzard that hit Denver last weekend, we were forced to stay two additional nights. More about that later on...
Booked 3 nights at the Golden Nugget in the Rush Tower, this was my 10th time staying in the Rush Tower since it opened and unlike other properties with similar age on their product (3 years), the Rush Tower only shows minor signs of wear and little to no need of an update. GN must do an excellent job of keeping up with the joint, or the mega destructive douchery just stays out....maybe both.
Landed Wednesday the 20th around 3:00pm Vegas time, as has become a new practice for me I booked round trip service with Presidential Limo. Personally, for the additionally money over taking a cab, it is beyond worth it. A pleasent and professional driver, baggage service through the terminal and a nice, clean, quiet, enjoyable ride. And when paying a flat rate, who cares what route the driver takes?!? For this trip there were four of us so we booked a stretch and it was absolutely perfect and relaxing. Plus the ladies loved the roses and champagne.
Arrived at the hotel a short time later and proceeded to check in. Our friends were staying in the Carson Tower so we split up and went to our respective check in desks. We had booked the web special which gave a cheap upgrade from Carson up to Gold or Rush and included the Golden Values coupon book. I've read mixed opinions on the value of the coupon book but considering it was included and the upgrade was still cheap, it's a bonus. Personally we really enjoy the book as we typically spend most of our time at the property and the BOGO coupon for Breakfast or Lunch at the buffet is ideal as we tend to eat a big breakfast and then a big dinner. Works well for us. Plus the other coupons such as matchplay and cocktail coupons etc are a nice bonus.
Speaking of the coupon book......When we got to the check in, I excused myself to the men's room (too much champagne in the limo and too much beer at the airport before the flight!) and my girlfriend checked us in. When I returned she had a look of disgust on her face and told me she was livid. Apparently, something was mixed up on our reservation and the lady at the desk said we didn't book the promo code required to get the coupon book. I had the confirmation email that showed the promo so I figured this should be easy to resolve. That being said, the lady that had assisted my girlfriend was rather rude and basically refused to assist by calling the reservations line to see if something was just mixed up in the booking system.......In 3+ years of being a fiercly loyal guest of the Golden Nugget, I can honestly say this is the first sub par service I've ever experienced. Now, I'm not one to bus drive people, nor am I one to expect that simply because I've stayed somewhere many times means I'm to be afforded a different level of service. All I expect is that I be treated with respect and courtesy as a guest. If a host wants to go above and beyond because of my frequency of visit or level of play, that's a different set of circumstances, but the hotel desk.....just get shit right. Is that too much to ask? I asked to speak with a manager on duty, who promptly assisted us and resolved the matter. Being in a management position as well I felt compelled to provide him feedback on is staff's performance and to let him know that it was disappointing. He was sincerly apologetic and appreciated the feedback.....later that evening we returned to our room to find a bottle of champagne and a hand written apology for the experience........absolutely not required, but yet again the hotel continues to reinforce my decision to commit my stay and play business there. Huge marks for the effort.
A tradition for us is to eat at Grotto on the first night of our visit and we did so again this trip. If you're a veal parm fan, it's a must try if staying at the Nugget. Excellent food and service as always. When the server brought us our bill she asked if we were Landry's Select memebers, and I promptly kicked myself for still having not signed up for the Select Club. For those that aren't familiar with the Nugget, Landry's Inc owns the property, yes the same company that owns Landry's Seafood restaraunt as well as Morton's.....and all of the food offerings at the Nugget as well. There are some decent perks to being a memeber and staying at the hotel. The card has a one time $25 sign up fee but you immediately get a $25 reward to be used at their restaraunts, so in essence it is free. The perk though, if you are a memeber, when you check in you get a free room upgrade. So, you got that going for you.
We're typically, slot, video poker and blackjack players. The play was pretty good for the entire trip, I've never played a $5 machine in my life but I had a voucher with $10 on it and the $5 wheel of fortune machine was calling my name. So in it went and I pressed the max credit button (2 credits on the $5 machine) and wouldn't ya know it?!?! Got the damn spin.....lol, talk about luck. Wheel landed on $500......f'ing A. This shit never happens. Cashed out that voucher with much haste. LOL.
Played about 12 hours of blackjack in the Bar 46 area casino. Rules are OK, not great, can't hit aces after splitting but didn't much mind as I don't recall losing on a split ace the whole trip.
Made it over to Triple 7 Bar at Main St Station a couple of times, great place to grab a craft beer and a cheap eat that doesn't totally suck eggs. Will go back again.
Spent one afternoon/evening at the strip, went to see Love for my girlfriend's brithday present. As always, excellent show. Mirage was running a February promo on their website, ended up with two tickets for $120 total. Not bad!
I'm sure I'm leaving out a plethora of information that could be entertaining or useful but quite frankly....don't remember all of it!
Here's where the trip took an interesting turn. On Saturday, as we were winding down our gambling and preparing to grab the bags stop by the host office and head to the airport, we get a text alert that our flight has been cancelled. Well, shit. Called Southwest to rebook and we couldn't get on anything until Monday morning. Stopped by the host office to see if there would be anything she could do for us, and to be fair to the situation, this is the first time I've ever talked to a host in my life. I read about other's experiences but just always figure that I don't play enough and truthfully, up until these past few trips I wouldn't take more than $300 to gamble with as Vegas wasn't purely a gaming destination for me. Just love Vegas, with or without the gaming. She comped us 1 night in the Carson tower which was certainly appreciated. Ended up playing probably another 8-10 hours of Blackjack during the next two days.....started with a $100 and never looked back. Probably the best BJ run I've ever had in my life. When I finally walked for the last time, I had $180. Not a big haul by any stretch and had I been more disciplined I probably would've done much much better. Nonetheless, I wasn't disappointed at all.
Get to the airport and head home, all is well, can't wait to get back......but wait, Tuesday morning, the host called me and left a message, said she wanted to make sure we made it out okay and to make sure all was ok with the room accomodations. I was genuinely shocked to receive this call for somebody of what I would consider to be limited play.
I called her back to thank her for the call and to let her know I was planning to return in a month or so. She got me lined up with an offer for 3 comped nights and of couse mentioned that I should stop by the host office before departing to see if there is anything else that could be done.
Now, looking back on the trip, and the ups and downs of the gambling, I'll estimate that I wagered around $5000 the whole trip. Did I have a $5000 bankroll??? NEVER!!! But I suppose if you look at everytime the chips hit the felt or everytime the button on a machine is pressed, then yes I probably wagered around $5000. Not sure if this is an element that they are considering when rating your comps etc.....anybody know?
Regardless, turned out to be a great trip, learned a lot about the value of having a relationship with a host and committing my play to ONE property during the trip. Can't wait to get back, will probably be out there St Patricks Day week.
Last response by Heresiarch 4th March 1:12pm
BillDonovan responded on Saturday, 2nd March 2013
Thanks for this trip report. We will be staying at the Golden Nugget on our next trip, and appreciate the info. cheers,
hawaiianmark responded on Saturday, 2nd March 2013
We're DT folk for sure. Im (of course) a Cal/MSS guy, but have had 3 stays at GN. A Spa suite, 1 BR, and Reg room stay. I concur w/ your observations to a "T" We were either - treated like kings or snubbed. 2X - Kings - only 1X was half ass.
Glad you have a heart for DT and the GN. We do as well.
boomer751 replied on Sunday, 3rd March 2013
My first 15 or so trips to Vegas I stayed on the strip but found that every night was going dt to play and drink. Finally started staying downthere about 7 years ago. I don't even look anywhere else now.
Don't spend much time at cal or mss but do like both places.
Great vibes at just about every place down there.
Heresiarch responded on Monday, 4th March 2013
Excellent trip report, thanks!
It would only take five hours of $10 play, heads-up, to bet $5000 at blackjack. At a full table, maybe ten hours.
$5000 wagered at blackjack is equivalent to giving the house $25, which isn't much at all. From the casino's perspective, irrelevant. If you played an especially fishy variant of blackjack, that might be worth as much as $100.
$5000 wagered at nickel or quarter slots is equivalent to about $350. Depending on the day of week and what rack rate is that day, I can see that being enough for a free room. Close enough, you're a regular customer, they hope you get promoted and bring your new paycheck back, or get especially drunk one night and re-mortgage your house to keep playing.