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.   





 
 
This has always been an interesting question I had when redeeming a comped room offer somewhere.  For example, if I play my ass off and get a comped room at the Cosmopolitan and during my stay, stiff them on gambling, how long before I quit receiving offers?  I have experienced this with the Orleans this past year.  I double booked not knowing where I was going to prefer staying and checked into both Flamingo and the Orleans.  Well never going back to Orleans I gave them 0 play.  Guess what no more free rooms.  Although Gold Coast where I simply have just not been to in a year, is still comping me 2 free nights.  But on a higher level, with more layers of marketing can you get away with this longer?

Sionow is a frequent message board poster on LasVegasAdvisor.com.  I have followed his extensive trip reports over the years including his most recent ones that was following his quest to get to the seven stars tier which is the highest level for total rewards.  Well he achieved it and this year he has decided he is bored with gambling and this will be his farewell tour!  I think I am going to find this one the most interesting because I know I will never have enough of a bankroll or desire to go after the seven stars status, I certainly am good at giving properties no play!  He only has a couple reports in so far, but his plan is to only redeem free play playing it once and cashing out.  He is limiting his gambling to live poker which doesn't do shit for comps but is a great low roller play.  He will also begin cashing in his large bank of total rewards credits and b connected comp dollars this year.

Here is a link to his first trip report: http://www.lasvegasadvisor.com/forum/messageview.cfm?catid=17&threadid=324715 I plan to follow this, especially with the uncertain future of Caesars entertainment.  Not that I think they will shut down but I think I would feel more comfortable building up a status with a property that is a bit more financially sound.  Anyways, I look forward to seeing how long he can go checking into his high level suites, watching his free pay per view movies and not gambling!!