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bitflipper

Vegas has jumped the shark

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Las Vegas used to be the greatest tourist bargain around. At least, as long as you weren't a compulsive gambler. Hotel rooms for $45, all-you-can-eat buffets for $8.99. Shows starting at $20, maxing out at less than $100.

That was because gambling used to subsidize everything. When I first came here 40 years ago, there weren't many places where gambling was legal. That's no longer the case; I have half a dozen Indian casinos close to home. As gambling revenue went down, Vegas compensated by shifting to more conventional tourist offerings and started nickle-and-diming the rubes.

I arrived last night  and already I've spent $40 for the cab ride (~ 2 miles), $37 for a tuna sandwich and a hamburger, $18 for two coffees, $10 for a $3 cigar, $36 on bottled water. And of course, those cheap hotel rooms are a thing of the past - $1600 for two rooms for three nights.

This will probably be my last trip to Las Vegas. Disney World has become a better value.

So why the f am I here? Making good on a promise, I'd promised my granddaughter I would take her to Vegas when she turned 21. We procrastinated. This week she turned 33. So we figured it was time for her to cash in on that promise. It's her first time here, and she's digging it. I would, too, if somebody else was picking up the tab. But I'm making a point of not bitching about prices, so as not to spoil her fun.

Tomorrow night is Blue Man Group. We have seats down front in the "poncho section". Should make the whole adventure worthwhile.

 

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Dang!  $18 for two coffees???!  Well Dave, after reading your post, I think my last trip to Vegas was the one I took back in the 90's!  When I was touring playing darts (mid-80's), I used to go to the Strip twice a year.  The Sahara on one end and the Hacienda on the other (both hotels are gone now).  I would play Black Jack at $10 (or more) per hand and get rated by the Pit Boss which would usually get me a free hotel room.  Of course, once that was done, I'd stop playing!  I was good enough to almost break even so it only cost me an hour of my time and a couple of bucks.  With all the buffets and free drinks I always stayed cheap.  Not any more I guess!

Sounds like you're doing it for all the right reasons though! 👍😉

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The only time I was in Vegas was 1994 and you're right Dave the prices were great. Hotel for 4 night stay was under $200.00 total for a nice room.

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Checked out the pool this morning. There is no shade there unless you rent an umbrella for $125. Guess it'll be a brief swim. 

But you don't have to get out of the pool to buy alcohol.  A mere $30 for a cocktail. Good thing a) I don't drink. b) cannabis is legal here, and c) I brought my own from home (yes, the price of pot is similarly inflated here).

 

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13 minutes ago, bitflipper said:

A mere $30 for a cocktail.

😲 is the look on my face!

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On 6/21/2019 at 11:12 AM, bitflipper said:

$37 for a tuna sandwich and a hamburger, $18 for two coffees, $10 for a $3 cigar

I would have spent $37 on a cigar, and would have thrown the rest of the money on the floor, which is no different from any other way to lose your money in Las Vegas. (side note, I thought this thread was going to be about the video program)

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49 minutes ago, bitflipper said:

Checked out the pool this morning. There is no shade there unless you rent an umbrella for $125. Guess it'll be a brief swim. 

Lol $125 for a gat dang umbrella? What is that, per hour or what? I'm from Seattle.. don't you live around here in Everett iirc? If so I wouldn't imagine you even considering an umbrella for *any* reason. Anyway, someone once told me (I think it was Rich "the Tweakmeister" - RIP) that if you're going to go so far as to actually go to Vegas, you should at the least rent a Ferrari and cruise it out to the desert. Have you done that yet? 

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6 hours ago, S.L.I.P. said:

(side note, I thought this thread was going to be about the video program)

Which would be cheaper and more useful unless you're keeping promises! 😉

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22 minutes ago, craigb said:

Which would be cheaper and more useful unless you're keeping promises! 😉

so true

Dave what were you thinking😂 

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My brother lives in Laughlin but travels to California to buy his pot as it's way more in Nevada.  They tax the crap out of it.   We noticed how expensive all the buffets are now.  The days of the cheap buffets are gone.   BTW, we have a timeshare that is a block off the strip and it averages about $100 per night with our maintenance fees and taxes.  Much cheaper than getting hotel rooms plus it is a 2 bedroom, 2 bath with kitchen and living room and about 1,300 sqaure feet.

Jim

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If I was going to spend that kind of money, think I'd rather go to Burning Man. :)

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Well, last night made the whole trip worthwhile. Blue Man Group. Afterward my face literally hurt from smiling all the way through it. I wasn't even high.

I'd seen lots of videos of BMG, all recorded in arenas. Last night it was an 800-seat room, really the perfect size for that kind of entertainment. Very interactive with the audience. So much of the show was going on in the audience area that we actually missed some of it due to our front row seats. A great time was had by all. Highly recommended. 

Yes, Christian, I am in Everett. We actually flew out of Paine Field this time. What a great experience that was. Two minutes to clear security. Didn't bother looking up the gate number, as there are only two gates. Plus it's a lot easier talking someone into giving you a ride to the airport when it's 10 minutes away.

Speaking of the pool, turns out $125 just gets you an umbrella. If you want a lounge chair to go with it, it'll be $200. The biggest disappointment: four large pools and every one of them exactly 3.5 feet deep. My granddaughter broke a toenail attempting to swim.

At least there was the entertainment value of a thousand tourists baring skin that really should have been better left covered. 

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I went for a few days on an unplanned diversion from a California trip in 2004 and couldn't believe how cheap everything was. It sounds like an even better decision now than what I ended up thinking back then because I couldn't enjoy it with the price levels being described no matter what the state of my bank balance. Nothing worse than feeling like you're being ripped off all the time.

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I lived & worked there in the 80's then moved to Cali in 1990. I went back 10 years later, stayed at the Bellagio which was nice but the whole scene changed & wasn't the same. It went Disneyland & lost all it's charm, glad I left when I did. Still I've got fond memories of working the strip, hanging with celebs, 50c drinks at the Horseshoe & 49c breakfast at 6am after the gigs.

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Posted (edited)

I still can't get over some of those Vegas prices you mentioned Dave ...

 Is there still such a thing as a "Dollar Store "  In Las Vegas ?   or is it now called  "The Twenty Dollar Store " 🤪

 

Kenny

Edited by Kenny Wilson

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Not making this up...I passed by a Ten-dollar Store. "Everything $10 or less!" said the sign. We were on the bus at the time, so I didn't run in to see if they had any expired cereal for $9.99. 

Sunday's lunch at the Belaggio was $75. Food quality was pretty good, and to be fair the price included all the mimosas you could drink. For those who don't know what a mimosa is (I didn't), the recipe is to take the cheapest champagne you can buy and dilute it with reconstituted orange juice so it's semi-palatable. Turns out, "all you can drink" means approximately 0.1. We even tried adding more orange juice but it still tasted like cleaning solvent.

My granddaughter's fitbit says we walked 30 miles in 3 days. Even though my back pain had returned a couple weeks ago, it wasn't slowing me down. I was pretty happy about that, until I realized that I'd been inadvertently popping hydrocodone pills each day. Meant as a just-in-case first aid item, I had put them into my daily pillbox along with the usual vitamins and heart meds, on the theory that that would elicit fewer TSA questions than a baggie. Then forgot they were in there. So it wasn't the exercise that was helping my back after all.

That may also explain why I tipped every street musician we passed. Even the guy banging on a plastic bucket. 

 

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Posted (edited)

I'm glad you are finding ways to enjoy Vegas. I've been several times but the last was 15 years ago. BMG and suchlike aside, it has always struck me as one of the most spiritually depressing places in the U.S.

I like my depravity, but just not that sordid. 

Edited by emeraldsoul

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4 hours ago, bitflipper said:

That may also explain why I tipped every street musician we passed. Even the guy banging on a plastic bucket. 

 

There's a street musician in my area that plays a five gallon bucket with drumsticks. He's friggin amazing to watch. He gets so many sounds out of that thing...

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4 hours ago, emeraldsoul said:

I'm glad you are finding ways to enjoy Vegas. I've been several times but the last was 15 years ago. BMG and suchlike aside, it has always struck me as one of the most spiritually depressing places in the U.S.

I like my depravity, but just not that sordid. 

My favourite part was the rides at the top of the Stratosphere. Having done all the Disney and suchlike theme parks several times by then I thought I'd pretty much seen everything that thrill rides had to offer, but doing those ones 1100+ feet up at 2am when I already had a bit of a buzz on just blew everything else I'd ever been on away.

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