Happy 12-13-14!  What better day than to organize my final vegas plans for this new year.  Looking back on my play this year, I think the best time I could have gone after diamond was this past September which allowed enough time for my offers to update and include comped nights over new years!  This may not happen again, so my wife and I will take on the crowds and visit "America's Party" which is the name Vegas has adopted for its New Years Celebration.  This will not be unlike previous trips where I remain budget conscious so my midnight activities will most likely be on the street looking up as opposed to an expensive night club or viewing party.  My hotel accommodations have changed much more than normal leading up to my trip and while nothing is stopping me from changing again, I think I have a good mix.

I desperately wanted to take advantage of SLS and contacted a host to match my new years offer fro Ballys.  I am realistic and knowing that this is a very busy time, I asked if he could not comp my 4 night stay than perhaps 2 or 3 nights before new years.  I have had to be the one contacting him every week or so for updates and its like I'm starting from scratch each time.  I sent over pictures of my offer.  He emails back, what dates did you want again?  I send it over, wait a week, ask how its going and he replies, send me your date of birth and address!  OK, I'm wondering why we didn't cover all of these formalities in the beginning but whatever I send it over.  He sends me back that its sent over to be approved.  2 weeks later still no word, I send him another email asking about it.  He says it will be any time now and will let me know as soon as he gets it!  This was about 10 days ago.  I visited SLS in September, liked the games, liked the atmosphere and wanted to stay, but I feel this simple request is to much or he is not wanting to let me know he cannot fulfill my request.  Either way at this point I have written off SLS as a stop for this year end trip.

I had already booked my Sunday night at the Gold Coast.  Poor old Gold Coast, used to be my go-to joint, and they are always right there with 2 free nights for me whenever I need them, although these past few trips I find myself continually booking and then canceling for nicer accommodations.  While I haven't cancelled yet it appears this year will be no different.  I received a mlife email offering 2 free nights through the end of the year (new years eve excluded of course).  So I looked at the options, all except Bellagio and Aria, I opted for Mandalay Bay as we have never stayed here before.  I booked for the 28th and 29th and it even has $50 in free play, not to shabby.  So at this point I feel I am set with my first 2 nights at MB and closing it out with Ballys for the last 3 nights.  Then another email comes along...

Cosmopolitan: the holy grail in terms of the hotel we most desperately have wanted to get a comped night at for some time now.  They actually sent me an email offering 2 free nights Sunday thru Thursday thru December 28th last month but when I called the 28th was blacked out, damn!  Well this time it was still Sunday thru Thursday but it was extended thru January 4th.  I already assumed me late December dates would be excluded but my wife insisted I at least call and try.  So Try I did asking for 2 nights somewhere between the 28th and 30th.  The reservationist quickly stated that  the 29th and 30th were blacked out....damn again.  But now miraculously the 28th was available!  She went on to say my comp was for a city room but I could upgrade to a terrace studio for $30 and a Bellagio fountain view for $50.  Normally I am not one for paying the upcharge for a view change, but the main reason for staying at Cosmo has to be those balconies, and what better way to enjoy one but with a view of the fountains!  I locked it in, $50 well spent I hope!

So I think I have it all figured out now: Cosmo to Mandalay bay and then 3 nights at Ballys.  I get to experience 2 nights at 2 places I have never stayed, along with staying for free on one of the most expensive nights in Vegas!  I've watched the Art Mann special on NYE and I am trying to find any trip reports of other peoples Vegas NYE experiences, but I am excited.  I plan to take a ton of pictures and hopefully have some good stories to bring back, Vegas Baby! 2 weeks and counting!!!
I retrieved a nice little surprise from my mailbox this morning, my first little bonus from being a backer on Kickstarter for the Five Hundy by Midnight travel guide!  It may not be common for me to use a Koozie, but you better believe this thing is getting packed for my next Vegas trip.  

We are also 5 days away from VIMFP (Vegas Internet Mafia Family Picnic).  Another year goes by where I will not be attending this event :(.  If you already follow the vegastripping.com site, listen to five hundy by midnight or the vegas gang podcasts you are already aware of this collection of awesomeness that will be taking over the D.  I will be watching from the sidelines again, but this year Hunter developed a VIMFP app to help follow along at home.  If you have any interest in this check out the following link: http://www.vegastripping.com/picnic/

Everyone has their obsessions and for those Vegas-addicts this "picnic" serves as an amazing outlet.  Vegas-geeks unite each year in October and the Vegas Gang do an amazing job organizing these events for all to enjoy.  It's on my bucket-list to attend, lets hope it continues, because it looks like a blast!

In the meantime, I will be drinking my favorite craft beer in my new Koozie, listening to Five Hundy and stalking on the VIMFP app!