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Harrahs 10/27-10/30...grab a drink because it's very looonng

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Joined: 19 Dec 2005
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PostPosted: Dec Tue 20, 2005 7:04 pm    Post subject: Harrahs 10/27-10/30...grab a drink because it's very looonng Reply with quote

Since everything was erased due to the hackers, I thought I would repost this report....

Harrah’s Reno 10/27 – 10/30

Southwest Airlines, Thursday 10/27

San Diego to Las Vegas 7:20 p.m. Nice flight, no problems. Sat in a window seat and got to see the strip. It made me sad that I wasn’t getting off the plane.

Las Vegas to Reno – arrived 15 minutes late, at approx. 10:15. I changed seats and moved up to the 2nd row, aisle. There was a young (early 20’s) guy sitting next to the window. The passengers came on, in Vegas, and they sat a young boy who was 9 years old and traveling alone, in the middle seat. At first I thought it would be nice since he’s small, but boy was I wrong. He had nothing to entertain him, but his mouth and he talked to me during the whole flight. At first I was o.k. with it, but then I started to get annoyed. I just wanted to chill out, read my book and be left alone. He was a nice kid though, and the reason I know he was 9 was because he told me about 10 times.

Dollar Rent a Car

I had reserved online for $49/mid-size for the 3 days ($11.99/day) which included tax/fees. I handed the girl my free upgrade coupon, which I received when I signed up for Dollar Express. I asked her if it was possible to upgrade to an SUV. She said I could only go up to a full size. I had my choice between a Dodge Magnum or a Ford Taurus. Hmmm..let me see…a pimped out station wagon, or salesman’s/company car. I remembered back to a TR, which Sue Casey had wrote, that said the Magnum was a little more difficult to park etc…because of it’s size, so I opted for the Taurus. After I got out to the lot, I saw a Dodge Stratus and kind of wished I had stuck with the mid-size car. Since it was only me, I really didn’t need the Taurus, plus I really don’t like that type of car (no offense to Taurus driver’s out there).

Harrah’s Thursday Night

I got to the hotel around 11 pm. VIP check in was closed, so I had to wait a couple of minutes for regular check-in. There were only two windows open. I asked the check-in guy for an upgrade (diamond) and he told me he had nothing available for Friday and Saturday. Since it was Thursday night, I didn’t think it was worth it to change rooms the next day. He told me the room I was in was very nice though.

Now, I have to tell you, I’ve stayed at Harrah’s/Reno twice and was given very nice, large corner rooms and never asked for the upgrade. I think the rooms were probably junior suites.

I got up to the room, I think it was 1533, and it was a major let down. I hate to sound snobby, but it wasn’t the type of room I was used to. The bed looked saggy, there was also a low chest of drawer w/a T.V. on top, 2 side tables on each side of the bed, a closet with mirrored sliding doors, and a small round table with two straight-back chairs, in front of the window. The bathroom was ok, nothing great. On top of the disappointing room, I thought it smelled like B.O. OH and to top it off, there was not one, but two connecting doors, one on each side of the room. I contemplated if I should go down and complain and decided against it as I was only going to be there a couple of nights. I didn’t unpack, which is unusual for me. Usually when I get to a room I unpack everything and get settled. This time, I just set out my toiletries (shampoo, toothbrush, etc…) and decided to head down to the casino.

The front desk told me Diamond services was open until midnight. I wanted to go down and claim my airfare reimbursement ($275) as I only brought $100 with me. Well, I got down there around 11:15 and they were closed. Found out they close at 11. So I decided to take my $100 and go play. I thought it would be good money management, because if I lost it all then I would have to wait until the next day to get more $$. I actually made some notes when I woke up the next morning! Ok, here we go… I put $20 in a penny Lil’ Lucy and lost. $20 in $1 bartop V.P. (I needed a drink!) and lost. $40 into a nickel Geisha machine and hit the bonus round. I ended up cashing out $200. $20 into a penny Panda Pays/Cashman machine and cashed out $100. $20 more in, lost it. $20 into a Penguin/Cashman machine, lost it. $20 in a Mermaid machine, lost. $25 into a Peacock Magic and cashed out $100. $20 in 2 cent Hoot Loot, lost. Ok, at this point I got tired of trying to figure it all out and stopped writing notes. I ended up even for the night. I still had my original $100, and also put some points on my card.

I went back to the room around 12:15 and was immediately hit by the B.O. smell when I walked in. I had decided I would go down, the next morning and ask for a new room. If they didn’t want to pony up something better, then I would threaten them with moving to the Peppermill. I knew that I could probably call the P-mill and get a room, as I had an offer in my bag and they have always come thru for me on the fly. So, I got ready for bed and just as I was lying (or laying…I’m not sure which is correct) down, the guy next door turns on his TV full blast. My blood pressure went thru the roof. I threw on some jeans, my jean jacket and boots (already had a tank top on!) and stomped down to the front desk. I told them I needed a new room. The girl told me she could get me into the same type of room, on the same floor and I told her no way. I then proceeded to say, I didn’t mean to be bitchy, but I could go to another casino and get a suite (which is true. I had an offer for the Peppermill for a suite). There was a guy, manning the window next to her that stepped in. I noticed his badge said “night shift manager” he started tapping away on his keyboard and he asked if I had to have a non-smoking room. I told him at this point, I would take anything. He then stated that he had a smoking, king room on the 23rd floor, #2320, and it was nicer than the room I was in. He said I would notice the difference right when I walked in. I said I would take it. Went back to my room and literally thru everything into my suitcase. It was around 1 am and thank God, I didn’t unpack! Well, he was right. The room was definitely what I was used to. It wasn’t huge, but nicely decorated/furnished and didn’t smell too much like smoke. It had a nice (non-saggy) king bed, armoire w/T.V, two nice tables w/drawers on each side of the bed, two slipper chairs w/table, and a small wrought iron bench (w/pad). There was a safe, in the mirrored closet, which was totally old school. It had a key to lock it, and there was a sticker on top that said if the key was lost there was a $30 fee for a locksmith. I ended up putting the key in one of my boots, in the closet, as I was paranoid about keeping it in my purse. I had a beautiful Western view of the mountains, Truckee River and all of downtown. Now, the only downside was the train, which came thru downtown approximately 3 times between 3-5 am. The engineer would just lay on the whistle. I swear, he was probably laughing the whole time. They are working on trench, which will run under street level. This is due to open soon and should eliminate all the noise and ease traffic too. I had never noticed train noise when we’ve stayed there before, so I’m not sure why it was so bad this time. Maybe because I was on a higher floor? Anyway, after looking at the fire escape map on my door, I noticed, the floor I was on had mostly suites. The one next to me encompassed the whole south end of the building and was called the Governor Suite. On Saturday night, they had a huge party, which was very loud. I had stopped by my room at 9 pm and heard the noise, laughing etc… but when I came back later (around 12:30) the party was over.

Harrah’s Friday

I woke up and decided to order room service. I got the Napa Omelet, which was 3 eggs, with artichoke hearts, mushrooms, tomatoes, avocadoes, and Brie and jack cheese. It came with toast and country-type potatoes. I think it was $11.99. Their room service charge was $1.50/per person, plus 15% gratuity. The meal was pretty good. The omelet was hot and I took the brie cheese off (it was just laying on the top) and decided I didn’t like the artichoke hearts in the omelet (too big and fibrous for breakfast) The toast was very good, hot and crispy, not rubbery and the potatoes were lukewarm.

After getting ready, I went downstairs, to Diamond services (which is on the basement level) to get the cash back for my airfare. While the girl was plugging in all the info, I chitchatted with another couple about Harrah’s Rincon. Apparently they were going on a Harrah’s sponsored cruise and were going to swing by Rincon. I got my slip from the girl, which I had to take to the cashier for my $$$. Oh, I also found out that Diamond services would print out boarding passes upon request. No need to go to the business center.

Anyway, went upstairs and got my cash back. I decided to throw $20 into a $1 VP machine and play DDB. I was dealt 4 7’s, for $250. I played it down to $200 and cashed out.

I also stopped by the spa to see about different services and prices. I had a $50 coupon. I thought about getting some sort of body scrub, which was $65 (full massages 50 min. were around $125 or more), but when I inquired about appointments for Saturday I was told they were booked solid for the whole weekend. They only had two appointments open for that (Friday) morning. So, the spa was out, my $50 coupon will go to waste.

I went back to the room and grabbed everything I needed as I was heading out to see my grandmother. On my way back down to valet, I decided to stop by my VP machine again. I put in $20 and after 3 hands I figured out I was playing DW. I lost the $20 and put another $20 in and switched to DDB. I hit 4 5’s. I played that down to $250 and cashed out. At this point, I’m pretty stoked!

I went and visited my grandma, I won’t get into it, but it’s truly sad. She was such a great lady. They had pulled her feeding tube on Thursday night. She was still coherent when I saw her on Friday, but when I spoke w/my father on Sunday she was totally out of it.

In between visits w/my grandma (I saw her once at the hospital, then went back when they moved her over to the nursing home), I stopped at the Peppermill for a much needed glass of wine and I played for a couple of hours. They had given me $300 in free play. I played a new Aristocrat progressive called Zorro. If you hit the bonus round, it’s automatically assigns you a bonus game. One of the games is the progressive, which works like the Cash Express, except you pick cards, instead of trains, and get the corresponding jackpot (mini, minor, major etc…). I hit the minor for approx $24. Anyway, I went around playing different machines. I think I took approximately $550 out of a White Water penny machine and $150 from a Mermaid machine. And on the way out I hit $150 on a new EggCited machine (by IGT). When all was said and done I left the Peppermill up approximately $950.

My dad and I ate at the Olive Garden for dinner. I know it’s a chain restaurant, but I think the food is pretty decent, not over-the-top great, but reliable. I had the Portobello ravioli’s and the salad and breadsticks are always good. We have a very nice time together and it was good for the two of us to get together and talk. The couple glasses of wine helped too!

I went back to Harrah’s around 9 pm and counted my winnings. I had approximately $1500. I decided to play at Harrah’s for awhile and was up and down, but was doing well on another EggCited penny slot (playing $2/spin) and ended up for the session around $150. There were some people playing Quick Hit quarter slots behind me. One lady hit for $1k, then hit for another $1k on the machine next to it (while she was waiting for the hand pay), then a guy sitting a couple seats away hit for $1k. I went and played $40 thru one of the machines and couldn’t hit a thing. I also played $50 thru Megabucks, thinking I would hit it since I had such a lucky day, but ended up losing. As I was sitting there I thought to myself “if I hit Megabucks, would I announce it to the LVA board”. After a little mental debate, I think I would. I went back to the room on cloud nine, up approx. $1500 for the day.

Harrah’s Saturday

Woke up and thought I would take it easy as my only plans were to get together with my mom later in the day. I decided to go downstairs for breakfast since I had a $20 food coupon. The regular buffet is closed for remodeling, so they have converted their Italian restaurant Andreotti’s into a pseudo-buffet. The cost is $9.99, which includes champagne. I wasn’t impressed and wouldn’t recommend the place. First of all, after you pay you walk down to a podium that says, “please wait to be seated” I stood there for a couple of minutes and figured out no one was around to seat me. Then when I finally flagged someone down, I pretty much picked the table I wanted. The barffet consisted of, different cereals, 4 different quiches (blech, I had a bacon quiche and it was not very good), a made to order omelet station (the only good part), some sort of meat that the omelet chef would cut for you, warming dishes with eggs, bacon, potatoes, hash (I think), mashed potatoes, fried chicken, sausage and maybe a couple other things. Salad greens, with 4 different dressings and no other toppings (maybe there were croutons), a tomato/onion vinegar salad, fresh fruit and bagels. Oh, there were also a few different pastry/desserts. I had a lemon bar, which was pretty good. The other bummer was that they didn’t have iced tea. I was informed that the machine was broken. Ok, for all of you coffee lovers, I feel the same way about iced tea. So I was seriously disappointed.

Left the buffet and decided to play a little bit. Tried my EggCited machine again, and couldn’t hit anything. I also played Mermaid and Cleopatra, again no big wins. I started to have a bad feeling about this day.

Went back upstairs, to the room, and got ready. On my way back down, I wanted to stop at my favorite DDB ATM machine, but someone was playing it. I decided to put $20 into another machine and didn’t hit anything. Got my car out of valet and headed over to Meadowood Mall, to look for some jewelry to go with an outfit I was wearing. I did get into a road rage incident at the entrance to the mall. I won’t go into it, but I want you all to know it was the other guy’s fault! I went to Macys and checked out the jewelry and decided to keep looking around. I went thru the whole mall and ended up back at Macys and bought a necklace and pair of earrings.

After that, I decided to head over to the Peppermill, since I had such good luck the day before. Well, the luck just wasn’t with me. I tried the same White Water penny machine, which had treated me so well and didn’t hit a thing. Played here and there and just couldn’t get anything going. I think I had brought $600 with me and it was gone in a couple of hours.

I had to leave the Peppermill to meet my mom at Harrah’s, around 5 pm, for dinner. On my way up to the room I stopped at the Diamond lounge to get an iced tea. When I walked in, there was no one sitting at the check-in desk, so I went up to the bar. While I was waiting for my drink an employee came over and frantically asked me for my Diamond card and I.D. I kind of felt like he didn’t believe that I had a Diamond card. I made a comment to no one in particular and the girl sitting next to me said he did the same thing to her. I got my iced tea and was on my way out when the same employee ( I nicknamed him the door nazi) stopped me and pointed to a sign that said no food or beverages may be removed from the DL. So I hurriedly drank my iced tea and left. I know Harrah’s LV had the same policy, but when we there in September they would give you a plastic cup, to pour your drink in before you left.

My mom came up to my room and was impressed. She thought it was very nice. We sat and talked for a moment, then went down to the DL for a cocktail. The door nazi was sitting at his station this time, and I signed in. He made the comment that I was just there, and I said he was correct! What a genius! We had a couple of glasses of wine, and then went to the Steakhouse for dinner at 6 pm. We were seated in a very nice booth, which is better than getting stuck at one of the tables in the middle of the room. We ordered a Portobello mushroom appetizer ($9.95), which was covered w/smoky cheddar cheese and had a side of greens and roasted red peppers. This wasn’t very good, they over-cooked the mushroom, so it was shriveled up and small, and the cheese just overwhelmed it. Then we had the Caesar salad, prepared tableside (approx. $8.00 per person). This also wasn’t very good. It tasted overwhelmingly like garlic and had way too much dressing on it. The dressing actually wilted the lettuce. I had Steak Diane prepared tableside (approx $30) and mom had the special, Filet and Lobster ($60). She didn’t ask how much it cost when the waiter offered it as a special and was shocked by the price. Again, my Steak Diane was ok, not great. The sauce he made was a little too strong. Mom said her lobster was good, but she couldn’t finish her filet, which she also said was good. Her mini-dachshund wouldn’t eat it the next day, but I don’t think we can make a good judgment based on this. She didn’t think the whole thing was worth $60. We both agreed we wouldn’t go back to the Steakhouse, for the price there are much better places to eat. I think the Steakhouse at the Peppermill is one of them. I talked to Steven (my husband) about our experience and he said he thinks food prepared tableside is a mistake. He said these guys are waiters, not chefs. I think I have to agree with him on this.

After dinner mom headed home and I went down to the casino to play. Again, I tried all different slots and VP and couldn’t hit a thing. I ended up losing all the money I had won, except for $300. I had actually gone to the ATM to get out $200, because I didn’t want to run back up to the room for more money. So overall I ended up breaking even, because I went to Reno with $100 cash, plus I got some jewelry and perfume, which probably totaled around $85. But, I still had to pay out of pocket for my plane ticket and rental car, so I guess it’s really not breaking even. Oh well.

Harrah’s – Sunday

I woke up and had plans to drive out to my mom’s house around noon. I was going to hang out with her until I had to catch my flight at 3:20. I called down for a late check out (regular check out is 11 am), and they gave me until 2 pm. I got ready and went down to VIP check out and my total bill, after points were deducted for the room service bill, was $3.53. This was the gratuity for room service. I met up with my mom, and we went to lunch.

I then took off for the airport. Dropped my car off at Dollar, very quick and easy. I was a little over an hour early for the flight (I had stopped by Diamond services Saturday night and had them print out my boarding pass), so I sat down and put $20 into a penny Twilight Zone machine. I was playing 30 credits and it was doing ok, up and down. After about ½ hour I was down to $10, so I cashed out and went over to a $1 WOF, where I proceeded to lose it all without one hit.

Our flight from San Diego to Oakland left about 25 minutes late, but we ended up getting into San Diego on time. Those pilots are awesome. I don’t know how they make up the time in the air, but who cares as long as I arrive on time!

That’s about it. I think I put almost 2k TR points on my card. I wish I would have came home w/more $$$. I hate that I can be a winner one day, then a total loser the next, but I guess that’s what gambling’s all about. I guess it’s better than being a total loser the whole time…lol.

Harrah’s treats me well, but I would not stay in one of their regular rooms. I was told they are in the process of remodeling all of them and they seriously need to hurry up and finish the project. They also need to get their buffet remodeled ASAP, as the pseudo-buffet totally sucks. I also had a coupon for a 2 free show tickets, which I wanted to use, but one show was Broadway show tunes, and the other had a Country Western theme. Neither impressed me much to actually take the time to sit thru it. I really would have preferred a good old-fashioned cheesy showgirl show. Oh, they also have a cool jazz club, called Sapphires, but it was disappointly (sp?, is this even a word?) empty. The band was really cool though.

Phew, that’s about it, thanks for reading the whole thing because it ended up longer than I expected and took me two days to complete!

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PostPosted: Dec Tue 20, 2005 9:35 pm    Post subject: Erin's trip report Reply with quote

It is my New Year's resolution to do more of my trip reports like this. Well, any trip report would be better than what I've been doing lately.

Excellent writing, Erin... we felt like we were right there.

Now why did I get the idea that SD was SOUTH DAKOTA???
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PostPosted: Dec Wed 21, 2005 10:54 am    Post subject: OMG ABBRVs. WTF?? Reply with quote

Maybe because "SD" is the official USPS designation for the state of South Dakota?

Interestingly, it's the opposite problem with the abbreviation "LA", which in fact stands for Louisiana - but everyone thinks of Los Angeles when seeing it in print.

Fortunately, RNO causes little such confusion.
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PostPosted: Dec Wed 21, 2005 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent report. I have never been much of a fan of Harras. Sounds like they have treated you well in the past. Never had much luck gambling there either. Your report made me excited for my next visit.\

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PostPosted: Dec Wed 21, 2005 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm glad you enjoyed reading it.

I'm not a super fan of Harrahs Reno, but do like other Harrahs properties, like the Rio, Laughlin and Rincon. I also love Caesars and Paris, so can't wait for the merger to be complete! I play slots, so their VP selection and BJ rules don't bother me.

Anyway, the only reason why I stayed at Harrahs Reno was because they offered to reimburse my airfare up to $300. Otherwise I usually stay at the Peppermill, which I will be doing in January...can't wait!
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PostPosted: Dec Thu 22, 2005 12:15 am    Post subject: RNO Reply with quote

Not sure this is always clear.
RNO could be:

Right Nice Offer - hooker on 4th st.
Right Now, Officer - you want me to take a breathalyzer?
Real Nasty Odor - I'll leave that to imaginations.
Randy Nights Only - every guy's dream.
Red Numbers Only - why I lose at Roulette.
Really Nice Oranges - Fruit inspector? or our mod at the Pep?

Well, readers, how bout a few more.
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PostPosted: Dec Thu 22, 2005 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Hawk, nice to see that someone else likes to play the silly language game.

I've not had enough coffee, but I'll take a stab:

Recirculated Nitrous Oxide (RN2O) - secretly piped into the casino air conditioning systems to assist with loss of time and place orientation.

Radically Negative Odds - The money wheel game, Sic Bo, and other games with horrendously huge casino advantage / house PC.

Repetitive Nagging Other - Your spouse, trying to drag you away from the tables, even though you only lost the savings account, the 401(k), and the mortgage, but you've still got plenty of equity left in your 1974 Olds with which to gamble...
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PostPosted: Dec Mon 26, 2005 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great post, but does anyone really win that kind of money on a penny machine? Ever??????

Yup. My latest addiction is a penny slot called "Shake your Booty". One of the three bonus rounds is played when you scatter 3 cannons - it shoots money at you. I was playing 150 pennies and that bonus shot $75 at me, and about 5 plays later I got five guys lined up and that paid $100. After cashing out $212 with an initial investment of $40, I hit 4 aces with a 4 on DDB for another $400 and went home.

Shake your Booty is a fun game even when you lose, just not as much fun.
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PostPosted: Dec Tue 27, 2005 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, you got me serious curious! Will have to stray from the frolicing of the craps table and check this out. So you play these penny machines at about a buck a try?

Although last year while in Reno, I read some guy one a cool million on a penny slot that was hooked into some progressive setup. I seem to recall he was playing a dollar a spin.

Thanks for the info! Cool
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PostPosted: Dec Tue 27, 2005 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, the Booty machine allows you to play from 1 to 20 coins on 1 to 15 lines. So you can play from one cent to three dollars a spin. I usually play 75 cents or $1.50. The Pep also has three of these machines in a random jackpot area. The jackpot starts at $10 and hits random machines (I got hit twice in a row once). Most of the time, it pays between $20 and $40, but I've seen it as high as $92.

Win or lose, I have lots of fun playing these machines.
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PostPosted: Dec Wed 28, 2005 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The penny slots are a lot of fun. I like the new Zorro slots at Peppermill, you have the potential of getting a random bonus round and winning $50k. I don't think you need to bet max credits to win the major bonus, unlike Millionizer.
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