As my October trip approaches, my final casino offers for this time period have arrived and am left to make some final decisions.  As it stood, I booked a stay for the full duration of my trip at the Rio, as I am still being comped well through Total Rewards.  The Rio is the last Total Rewards joint in Vegas to have left 7/5 Bonus Poker at 25c.  Also they have 8/5 at the $1 level if I start to feel frisky.

This trip is different than most, as my wife and I will be flying in with her brother.  We will also be meeting my wife's sister and her husband out there.  My wife's other brother already lives in vegas.  I planned on booking all available comps to keep my options open as well as have a place to stay for my brother in law if he decides not to stay with his brother.  

I knew from the beginning, I wanted to stay my first night downtown, and was hoping with my increased BOYD play and staying at the DTG on the last trip I would have a couple comped options downtown.  Well my BOYD offers came first and only had the Gold Coast available to both me and the wife.  I booked those and figured being next to the Rio its 4 nights he can stay if he wants his own room.

Next we get our Downtown Grand offers.  Well, we didn't play as much here as we did MSS and Fremont, but since it was on my Wife's offer in April, we both played on her card hoping to get another comp.  Unfortunately we get a card in the mail that states rooms from $20/night.  Knowing that the Friday we fly in everywhere downtown is at least $100/night, I figured a discounted room is better than nothing, so I give a call to see the rate. 

"Im sorry it looks that date is blacked out for your offer".  Oh, you mean because its a Friday?  I'm sure thats the issue, of course the mailer doesn't state that.  So, for shits and giggles, I let her quote me her "best rate" for that night.  "It would be $119 for the room but we have a $19/night resort fee (when did that go up again?) and taxes bringing it to $153"  Wow, considering I can go to i4vegas.com and get a rate available to everyone for $18/night less, I passed on her generous offer.


 

I received 2 free nights at SLS for any nights in October so I booked that for Saturday and Sunday, mainly to check out the rooms, putting it in the middle of my stay lets me throw an overnight bay together, leaving the rest of my stuff at Rio if I decide to crash here.  But this still doesn't solve my downtown dilemma.  If I had to pay for 1 night somewhere, this wouldn't be the end of the world, but trying to stay true to the compedvegas name, I decided to venture out of my comfort zone.


I am the low maintenance type of gambler, I like to book my own rooms, I've only asked for a food comp once (playing $5 blackjack asked for a buffet comp at the Gold Coast and was shot down!) and have asked for $ off a hotel room at checkout a couple times but that has been my extent.  I look look for the best games, put through as much coin-in as my budget allows and then eagerly await the room offers in the mail to plan my next trip.  But this strategy didn't garner me a comped option for downtown so I had to put myself out there and try to contact a host.


I've tried this through email before, and have found this is the most ineffective means of getting things taken care of.  So, I picked up the phone and called the Fremont casino.  Now, I knew my play was the highest here from my April trip so figured it was my best bet.  Asked the front desk to transfer me to the Host on Duty and off I went.  A gravelly female voice sharply answered the phone, where I concisely stated my case: "I normally receive offers from the Gold Coast, I played a lot at the Fremont on my last trip and was hoping to get a comped room in October?  A short pause got my heart pumping, probably because I don't like to put myself out there, but I knew this was the only way.  She put me on hold to get her computer fired up, asked for my players card number, on hold for another minute or so, and then was asked, just the one night? I replied yes, gave her my date and one more short hold later she came back on the line.  "Can do 1 night, thats it".  Ok......so do I need a reservation number or anything?....Nope, just your last name, and that was it.  The whole experience, despite multiple holds took less than 5 minutes and I scored my free room!  At first I was put off by her quick, to the point responses, but later found it refreshing that she was able to look at my play and make a quick decision.


So, Fremont, Gold Coast, SLS and Rio with only 5 nights on the trip.  Hey, at least it will allow me to get a few more room reviews done!  I love the feeling after getting a room booked for Vegas.  It sends another level of anticipation and excitement.  This may be another reason I book so many damn rooms, I was able to get this feeling 4 different times!  Well, moral of the story, suck it up and just ask.   





 
 
As a native Michigander, at least 1 trip "up north" is in order to appreciate the great splendor that is the Michigan outdoors.  Well what better way to enjoy the outdoors that a quick stop to an indian casino on the way!

I have not stopped at the Standish, Michigan slots only casino in quite a few years, but we had about an hour to kill before meeting up with our camping partners for the week, so the wife and I split a hundy and tried our luck.  

I cannot believe how busy this casino is!  We arrived on a Monday afternoon about 1pm and the main parking lot was completely full, leaving us to park in the "overflow" parking lot which is a few football fields away from the front doors.  Of course its raining, so this is a nice start to our tribal experience.

The casino is about 30,000 s/f (think the size of the 4 queens casino without table games) and has a subway and a couple native american gift shops, not much to it.  But since its opening, it has kept its 9/6 jacks or better pay tables on video poker.  The cool thing here is it maintains this great paytable all the way down to the 5c level.  You can creep up to dollars of luck strikes you, or dwindle down to nickels when your left with only a few singles in your pocket (I was left with the latter).  

I hate super crowded casinos, so this was a put off from the start, and of course 2 machines together was not happening so we sat with, we will call her "Marge" between us.  Not a big deal this happens in Vegas to, you play it out until the the in-between leaves or another pair of seats together open up.  Well Marge's husband, lets call him "Ralph" must have run out of money pretty early.  Ralph chose to stand directly behind me and watch Marge play through the rest of her money.  Now nothing makes a crowded casino better than having someone creeping behind you as your try to play!  

Eventually Marge played through her last dollar and she took Ralph with her so I was able to slide over a seat.  My session of 25c of vp was bumped up to 50c once I doubled my $20 investment to $40.  Well that was the end of my streak, as it went downhill from there (was Ralph breathing down my neck good luck?). 

Nothing else to report here, I would never make a special trip to this casino, but if your on I-75 heading "up north" its an OK excursion to get your gambling fix.  

I still have 2 months before I get to hit the mana of gambling destinations, so I trip to the Detroit casinos is in my near future.  It's no Vegas, but when you need a snack to hold you over for dinner, you gotta do what you gotta do.