Just returned from a three night adventure at THEHotel... Yes, I realize that I lambasted Mandalay in my last 'Stripping' article and I stand by what I wrote (actually, I believe it even more now)... You'll also remember that I really like THEHotel and that was home base for this trip, which included some great food, terrible gambling, back to the room at 5am and a great time with friends.
Most trip reports are usually quite boring so I'll just re-cap a few highlights here.
Also, *some* of the photos I took have been posted to flickr. The rest will be up in a week (ran out of space for this month). See the photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lasvegas/tags/march2005/.
Some Highlights and Observations
- Wynn Las Vegas: Both 'really coming along' and still 'quite unfinished'. It's amazing how much they can complete in the last month before the opening date. Driveways still need to be poured, landscaping installed, signage completed, etc... That said, it's really shaping up, as you can see from the photos. Maserati and Ferrari logos are visible on the area to the North of the main entrance that will house the dealership. Signs for the retailers are visible on the South side. Much of the mountain landscaping is now installed and they are building a bridge that will go over a small river/lake at the LVB/Spring Mountain entrance. It doesn't look like the lake is filled yet, or if it is, it's only partially filled. I would expect they would have to get on top of that pretty soon as the Bellagio lake took 90 days to fill. The hotel tower looks great at night and you can see it from practically anywhere as it is sooooo tall. You can see the golf course from the monorail and it looks fairly complete. The massive waterfall at the 18th hole is running and looks a lot like the volcano at The Mirage. Correction: Thanks to one of our readers, we now know that the lake IS full, at least on the interior side.
- THEHotel and Mandalay Bay: THEHotel is still great, Mandalay still sucks. Actually, I got a good dose of the non-existent customer service at MBay on this trip... I discovered that room service at THEHotel is GREAT (and not too expensive), maybe the best hotel room service I have ever had. One thing I had forgotten that is a bit strange - no security checking keys at THEHotel elevators. Most of the MGM Mirage properties have this, even a more mid-range joint like Treasure Island... Not that I expect those dudes to deter anyone interested in causing real problems. I still think the property is in a bad location, all the way at the end of the Strip. Never had long taxi lines leaving THEHotel though, which was nice.
- House of Blues Foundation Room: For those that don't know, this is a members only club (jacket not included) on the roof at Mandalay Bay. The view is similar to MIX (open to the public) but since it is private, it's never that crowded. The four in our group ended up there late Sunday night thanks to a casino host hookup and it was great. My wife hadn't seen the place and she was floored. It's always fun to show people something new.
- Body English: This is the nightclub at the Hard Rock, formerly Baby's. I'm not a big nightclub guy, I usually spend my time in the casino... But, the ladies love to dance and this time we planned a night out on the floor. We reserved a table, which made all the difference in the world. Instead of having to wait in line to get in or at the bar once inside, we had our own cocktail waitress and security dude. Most people get sticker shock when they look at the prices of the alcohol (it is by the bottle) but if you have a bunch of people in your group it makes a ton of sense. Who wants to waste four hours of their night standing in line to get into a crowded club where you can't even sit down? That's just about the most retarded idea I've ever heard.
- Motley Crue: This trip was planned around this show at the Hard Rock. We got tickets as a Christmas gift and everything went from there... We arrived a little late and we missed a few songs... How have the years treated these dudes? Vince Neil's voice seems to be completely shot. He tried hard but there were a lot of notes he just couldn't hit. The band themselves rocked, they were really tight and it was fun to hear all of those 80s rock anthems cranked out live. Tommy Lee did the 'chick cam' where he took a camcorder and encouraged female audience members to flash the camera - just like the real 80s!
- Delmonico: The best thing at The Venetian never disappoints and this was no exception. Great food, great wine. This might be the only sure thing in Las Vegas.
- MGM Grand Sportsbook: Checked out the new book at MGM Grand, which is not totally done yet, despite press releases to the contrary. The book is open but the poker room and new bar (Centrifuge) aren't. Anyway, a nice upgrade for the MGM as it now has one of the nicest books in town.
- Gambling: Why do I like gambling? It's actually quite vexing since I seem to be on the worst losing streak ever, having not had a winning trip in about a year (that's at least 10 trips). This time around was no different... Only this time I was the lone craps player in our small group so I was basically playing with a bunch of strangers the whole time. Awesome dudes! Lotsa fun! Sign me up for another trip... Oh wait... I'm going back in five weeks...
That's it for now. I am most of the way through the next 'Stripping' installment and we're prepping for live coverage of the opening of Wynn Las Vegas coming very soon!