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Old 04-29-2009, 11:41 PM   #21
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Seems like we are all going to be in Vegas in early May, I'm going with 3 girlfriends so are planning on a lot of cocktails and gambling. It will be interesting to see what the atmosphere of the place is in view of all the gloom and doom being forecast for LV.

By the looks even though I am the closest my trip is the most expensive, from San Jose to LV my airfare is just over $300.
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Old 04-30-2009, 09:10 AM   #22
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When I was there in January it was still the same party atmosphere. People still out and about, crazy stuff going down. Traffic was crazy, sidewalks full, etc.

The dealers looked a little sad when they were dealing at $10 min tables on a Saturday night and the place was half empty (Caesars). Venetian/Palazzo had the same $10 min tables during their peak period, but they were actually full for the most part.

From what I have heard, people are still going and still spending money. Just not as extravagantly as before.
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Old 05-11-2009, 11:47 AM   #23
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Back from Vegas and what a blast. Trip was made that much more enjoyable by the fact that I brought home an extra $1400.

Things I noticed about Vegas is that a lot of people are going, but one thing I noted is that the restaurants weren't full. Also the casinos certainly weren't packed. I spoke with one of the dealers and he mentioned that they have had their hours cut to 4 days every second week in an effort to afford layoffs. He said people are not playing as much, eating out as much but they still go to the shows. The Hilton was sold out, probably due to their ridiculously low rates, obviously the money comes from the casino not the other bits.
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Old 05-12-2009, 04:09 PM   #24
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This bargain is for Floridians . AAA south is selling Blue Man Group tickets for $49.00 for May & June .The Blue Man group are at Universal Orlando and if you have not seen them this is a great price . I saw them in Boston and it is a fun show . We got seats in the first tier for $49 via triple AAA. Most of the hotels in Orlando are really cheap right now . We got the Hyatt Place Universal Orlando for $32.00 via price line so it will be a fun Travel below your means trip .
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Old 05-14-2009, 12:26 PM   #25
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Just got back from Vegas too. Unfortunately did not win $1400, but broke even and had many many free drinks and $7 steak dinners in the process. Things were a lot busier than they were in January when I went last. Table limits were higher, and casinos were busier than before, but still nowhere near full even on Saturday night (a peak time). It may be that the cheap airfares and hotel rooms are bringing in a higher proportion of cheap or frugal minded individuals that spend less on gambling and eating.

Just watching all the action and crowds, you almost forget that we are in the Great Depression II.
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Old 05-14-2009, 02:14 PM   #26
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We were playing a $10 table of Let It Ride. We would have preferred a $5 table, but the dealer told us they only have those during the week, on Friday thru Sunday they bump the minimum to $10.

BTW where did you get the steak dinner for $7 as I would like to know for next time?
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Old 05-14-2009, 02:53 PM   #27
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We were playing a $10 table of Let It Ride. We would have preferred a $5 table, but the dealer told us they only have those during the week, on Friday thru Sunday they bump the minimum to $10.

BTW where did you get the steak dinner for $7 as I would like to know for next time?
Yeah, $10 minimums were the standard at mostly everywhere I saw on the Strip, except a few $5's here and there for bad rules blackjack, pai gow, let it ride, war, etc. Excepting the usual joints with low mins (Casino Royale and Osheas). Surprising to see $10 mins even at classy places like Encore/Wynn and Palazzo/Venetian.

I played a little at excalibur on a weeknight at $5 blackjack with fairly good rules. And Mandalay bay at night had a good number of $10 tables with the best blackjack rules in Vegas. But while I was playing they changed the table mins to $15, except I was grandfathered in apparently. It is much more fun to lose all your money at the $5 tables than the $15 tables!

The $7 steak dinner was at Ellis Island. It comes w/ a 22 oz beer (microbrew delicious), big salad, bread, steak, potato or fries, and garlic green beans. And the steak is actually decent. Offered 24/7. Located on Koval just south of Flamingo. About 10-15 minutes walking from the strip. The place is kind of a dump that serves a lot of locals but it was fun. And cheap. We had the steak dinner 3x in 5 days. Not on menu so you must ask for it by name ("$7 steak dinner").

A few other "deals" we took advantage of: $1 beers and frozen margaritas/daiquaries at Casino Royale and frequent cheap eats from the McDonald's $1 menu. Unfortunately that is where all the transvestite prostitutes congregate as well...
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Old 05-14-2009, 05:29 PM   #28
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Thanks Fuego, I've made a note for my next trip.

We were playing the $5 tables at O'Sheas on Friday, however didn't really like the vibe. We found whenever the dealer would be giving negative karma with their attitude we would lose, so we would quickly move on. Whilst I am losing my money I do like to have a bit of fun, so when the table is full of miserable people and a sour dealer the life gets sucked out of you.
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Old 05-14-2009, 07:54 PM   #29
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Just got back from Vegas too...Things were a lot busier than they were in January when I went last.
This is collaborated in a Web article by Jon Markman about a taxicab driver in Las Vegas.

In an economic desert, signs of life - MSN Money

Ricardo Banaga can finally breathe a little easier as he guns his taxi around the eerily quiet nighttime streets of Las Vegas. Just a little, he says, just a little. ...

... Banaga saw his twice-a-month paycheck for 12-hour days slip to around $600 from $1,200. And that's before gas expenses.

... suddenly life is lightening up a bit. The desert may be a strange place to look for "green shoots" of economic growth, but they are there nonetheless. Banaga's paychecks are sometimes hitting $900 again ...

Shall we take this as the sign that we have been past the bottom, and are starting to climb out of the hole?

Buy, buy, buy, ladies and gentlemen?

Or is it simply that people are trying to escape the tedium of this economic malaise with cheap vacations? Will these hopeful "greenshoots" get wilted and yellow as an unwatered Bermuda grass lawn under the August sun in Phoenix?
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Old 05-15-2009, 01:35 PM   #30
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We should have had a Las Vegas ER forum meetup. I think clifp was out there the same time as us this past week/weekend. I stayed at the Imperial Palace this time around. Although I spent most of my time at the Venetian or Ellis Island.
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Great cruise bargain.
Old 06-12-2009, 12:05 PM   #31
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Great cruise bargain.

I found a 2 week Mediterranean cruise leaving October 31st from Athens to Rome with a balcony room on Azamara Cruise Line on special for $1599. A little more than $100 per day per person but about 1/3 of what the cost usually is for that itinerary and cruise line. If reserved through CruCon.com they will pay the on board gratuities, a $350 value, which brings it down even more. I have always wanted to do a Med cruise but the costs dismayed me. Got to jump on this one. Cruises overall are a steal right now! Try vacationstogo.com or crucon.com for info.
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Old 06-12-2009, 12:21 PM   #32
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Fairmont hotels across the world: enter the discount code of NFAF. Ridiculously low rates compared to their norms if you like a bit of luxury. I stayed in the Fairmont Banff Springs and Fairmont Lake Louise for under $160 a piece. You'll often get 50-60% off their regular rates, and better by far than any price you'll find online.

If you need an employee ID code, you can find them in a few places. I'd recommend flyertalk.com for a good employee reference (won't be hard to find the one I'm referring to). I don't have an exact link to it right now.
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Old 06-12-2009, 01:41 PM   #33
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I believe it was Tuesday when I saw a slew of air tickets to Europe departing many east coast cities for sub-$300 with essentially unlimited variety in times and dates. Destinations included Barcelona, Madrid, and Zurich. I think it was on Delta, but some other airlines matched these prices. Also saw a $300 nonstop flight to Europe from LAX on American I think. All taxes/fees included here.

Those must have been 1 day only sales because they are not available now. Those rates appear to be 1/2 off the normal fares from my east coast city of origin.
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Old 06-12-2009, 02:23 PM   #34
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If you can find airfare deals, consider booking 'em while you can. A lot of airlines are starting to (again) slash the number of flights they offer which, combined with rising fuel prices (again), would suggest that fares may be rising soon and deals harder to find.
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Old 06-12-2009, 03:44 PM   #35
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If you can find airfare deals, consider booking 'em while you can. A lot of airlines are starting to (again) slash the number of flights they offer which, combined with rising fuel prices (again), would suggest that fares may be rising soon and deals harder to find.
Good advice. Another trend - I snagged cheap nonstop return flight to Portland from Detroit a month or so ago, and was recently informed that the nonstops are now one stops!
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Old 06-13-2009, 03:07 PM   #36
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Bid on Priceline for a car rental on Maui. $15/day!
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Travel Bargains
Old 06-13-2009, 03:39 PM   #37
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Travel Bargains

A lot of good ideas on this thread! I have been furiously scribbling notes for future reference. I have decided to freeload on my son this summer as he has been working in London since January. He is living in a two bedroom apartment so I figure I won't put him out too much with a week's stay. Got a bargain on Virgin Atlantic out of Dulles. I plan to go to the theater, eat great Indian food, visit the Tate and the British Museum and whatever else strikes my fancy. Lucky I didn't go this week with the Tube strike and all.
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Old 06-13-2009, 03:48 PM   #38
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There are some decent deals around, but I'm starting to find Priceline a bit too exciting for me. For bigger cities like Toronto, Montreal, Boston, and NYC, yes, Priceline is worth the trouble, but for smaller cities, the bid your own and the Expedia prices are often the same because of Priceline's higher handling fees.
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Old 06-13-2009, 05:39 PM   #39
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Bid on Priceline for a car rental on Maui. $15/day!

Good to know since I'm renting a car in August but instead of Maui it's in Buffalo .
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Old 06-13-2009, 06:16 PM   #40
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I went to Cleveland recently. Got a compact rental for 75.36 for 5 days. Cheapest Ive ever got one for. Believe my relative got it on Priceline.
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