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 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". 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.   

Had an amazing trip over New Years, and a lot I want to post about on here, so stay tuned as I will be adding more content throughout the coming weeks.  Take a look at the hotels section of the site where I posted 2 new reviews of my most recent stays at both the Cosmopolitan and Mandalay Bay.  

Following those 2 nights my stay was booked to be in the Jubilee tower at Bally's.  Having loved our stay here this past September I was really looking forward to experiencing the room again over New Years.  This was not to be as I finally experienced what happens when you are a small fish in the big pond on one of the busiest weeks of the year.  I've read countless trip reports and reviews of players who were comped to the nicer towers at Caesars Palace being told upon checkout that the room they booked was no longer available and had to be moved to a lesser quality tower.  This of course is bullshit but it usually means players of a higher status booked their stay after you and because your play doesn't match theirs you get the bump. 

It didn't help that I was coming from a great room at the Cosmo but when I was told to turn left and go up to my room in the North tower I was pretty bummed.  I decided not to say anything yet as I thought I heard some of the rooms in the Indigo tower were renovated as well.  Well this could be true, but we certainly didn't get a room that had seen any improvements in a couple decades.  I decided against doing a review as I covered the property as a whole during my stay in the Jubilee room, but the room quality is certainly night and day.  I walked back down to check-in knowing what they were going to tell me hoping for some sympathy and to get a room change.  They apologized and told me for $50/night I could get back into the Jubilee tower.  I think this pissed me off more.  If you are not putting me in the Jubilee tower because you are sold out, but can then put me back for $50/night what kind of message does that send?  I quickly declined that offer, walked past the champagne and cookies in the the Diamond checkin area feeling like a chump.

The little thing like having a mini fridge was something I looked forward to.  I tried to make the best of it and called the front desk to have a mini fridge brought up.  I later found that upon returning to our room a day later my waters and energy drinks were room temperature.  I didn't want to waste precious Vegas time waiting for someone to bring up a new fridge so I used the ice bucket instead.  

Before arriving in Las Vegas I received a voice mail and an email of a casino host.  I have never played at the level to have a host so have 0 experience in what they can or will do.  Because my wife and I play on the same card and we have been playing more concentrated at the places we have been staying we must have hit their radar.  Or it could be for achieving Diamond, either way it was interesting to get their info.  I decided as a last ditched effort I sent a lengthy email explaining how I was disappointed for not being placed in the room I booked over 3 months ago.  I told the host how we left the property and even stayed at Mandalay Bay for the night because of the poor quality of the room.  I eagerly watched my email for a response that day, until I received one later in the afternoon:

"Hi  Joe,

I contacted Bally's and asked if you could be moved to the Jubilee Tower, and they said that without that $50 a night charge, no one can be moved. I understand how frustrating it is not to get the room you booked. During high volume events like NYE, we never guarantee rooms because we have to accommodate players based on play, which means that while you qualified for a Jubilee room when you made the reservation, you were bumped by higher players. It's very frustrating.

In the future, please do book through me, as my reservations are given a priority."

At least she was honest I guess?  Well, like any players club, you have to learn the ins and outs and understand how to make them work for your benefit.  This was the first year I really played at Total Rewards properties so I have quite the learning curve to go up against.  

We woke up from the hard mattress actually feeling slightly refreshed.  Maybe those soft mattresses are not whats best for our backs?  I looked at the fact that a few years ago I was thrilled to be comped weekdays in a basic Gold Coast room which was nothing different than the room at Bally's.  Now I'm being comped over the busiest time of the year and I'm center strip to watch the fireworks, I need suck it up!  We still played our asses off at Ballys and Planet Hollywood so should continue to generate some decent offers.  I think staying our next trip on an off-week will be better.  I guess using my host to book will help as well.  Ill try to post some details on the trip as I can carve it in, as I know must earn a living again to fund the next excursion to the happiest place on earth.