Archives for December, 2009
Brad and I just got back from a wonderful holiday family reunion in New Orleans.
We had 3 rooms at the Harrah’s Hotel, one a suite that served as “holiday headquarters.” We decorated it with garlands, and nativity scenes, and artificial snow, and a small Christmas tree almost hidden by wrapped presents stacked high around it. But it was a huge suite so there was always room for Wii games. (I used to be a good bowler at the alleys but my Wii bowling skills need a lot more sharpening!)
Since Brad and I both have 7 Star tier status, it was possible for us to provide luxurious “champagne” living for 13 people and costing us only “peanuts” – and occasionally some Reward Credits. We had a total of 13 room nights, only 2 requiring the use of our points.
As usual, tips were the main expense that cost real money.
Since we were on my annual 7 Star trip (we’ll take Brad’s in a month or two), they put $500 worth of Reward Credits in my account. That (plus some mailed food coupons) covered many meals and room service, which we used more often than usual since you have to be 21 to enter the casino where the buffet and many other food outlets are located. The teenagers didn’t mind, however, since they think room service is pretty special. We used both our annual $500 “Celebration Dinners” for two big meals, one at Ruth’s Chris Steak House, and the other (when there were little kids and we wanted to be more casual) at Gordon Biersch Brewery. (Both of these restaurants plus Grand Isle are in or near the hotel so were good choices where we could take kids.)
Other 7 Star perks included free valet parking at the hotel. This was a big freebie since the rate was $25 a day and our group had two vehicles. We also got free tickets for 5 people who were brave enough to take the nighttime walking Haunted History Tour around the French Quarter. Brad and I skipped that since we had done it many years ago. (Carriage rides are an alternate comped option, but we had done that with the family last year.) Free movies was a popular perk plus there was free Internet.
As usual, we were able to maximize casino benefits by taking advantage of some mail offers that coincided with our visit. I picked up a 7-day cruise and Brad collected $400. Plus we had some extra free play from the quarterly coupon books we each get. And, of course, we had no travel expense since the airfare for two people is included in your annual trip package.
It goes without saying that the most important “perk” for us was being with family – but it never hurts to have lots of comps!
Posted on Dec 21, 2009 under Family News |
Harrah’s is kindly “sponsoring” (7* Star annual trip) our upcoming family holiday reunion in New Orleans. My two sisters will be there – June, the psychiatrist, flying in from Durham, North Carolina, and Starr, the retired attorney, driving in from her new condo in Las Vegas, where she re-settled from Indiana this year. Also joining us is Starr’s son and his family, who live in New Orleans.
Then there will be the Frugal Princess family driving down from Columbus, Georgia. Angela and Steve will be enjoying a vacation from “pressure” jobs. Angela is an administrative assistant in a law firm, and Steve is a project manager for a civilian contractor at Fort Benning. He plans and oversees new weapons testing – still dealing with Army frustrations and red tape; but, as a civilian, at least no one is shooting at him! Zachary, now 16 and a second-degree black belt, is still working, as he has since he was 14, as a part-time instructor in the karate studio where he has taken lessons for years. He is a junior in high school and looking to perhaps entering the teaching profession. Kaitlynn, now 15, plays soccer on city and school teams and also lettered in cross-country. She is a sophomore and interested in a graphic arts career.
So I will be signing off from blogging and e-mail for a few days to enjoy family activities, eschewing all electronics except my trusty cell phone! But first Brad and I want to wish everyone a happy holiday season. Having so many friends is our best blessing during the holidays and all year long.
Posted on Dec 20, 2009 under City News |
Another thing I lost, besides the spa which I talked about a couple weeks ago, when the Palms switched their points from comps only to free play, was the place to keep my acrylic nails in good shape. A friend recommended Tina at the Nails Place, 5255 S. Decatur, and she has been doing a great job, on my fingers and feet (and Brad’s nails too but he isn’t into having his toes babied!). The place isn’t fancy but the prices are very reasonable. They are open seven days a week. 889-6245
Tell Tina the Frugal Gambler sent you. No, I don’t get any monetary benefit from this, just the pleasure of helping a hard-working little lady.
Posted on Dec 19, 2009 under Food Review, Promotion |
This report from GreeklandJohnny on the vpFREE forum:
“We went to the Hard Rock Casino for the steak and shrimp special. The quality of the meal is nowhere near as good as it used to be. The potatoes looked instant and the shrimp were skimpy. The steak is smaller and the presentation not the best. On the plus side, if you valet, there is a $10-off food purchase, which was a nice bonus. I wonder how many people valet park, go to eat, and never look at the valet slip.”
Posted on Dec 18, 2009 under Health |
The Southern Nevada Health District has reported a sharp decline in the number of new cases of the swine flu since the “pandemic” peaked here the middle of October. They attribute that to the fact that many people got the vaccination plus many now have increased immunity because they already got the virus and recovered.
However, officials fear another wave may hit in February/March because so many people are now deciding not to get the H1N1 shot. One health professional told me that when the vaccine was scarce and restricted to certain risk groups, “everyone” was clamoring for it. Now they have plenty of vaccine and anyone is eligible, but almost no one is showing up.
Brad and I did get shots last week as soon as the general population was included. When we both got so sick with a “bug” in September, Brad did get tested for the swine flu but it came back negative. I never got tested, but the doctor said I probably did have it. However, it took us both about nine weeks to get back to our normal relatively healthy selves so we decided to be better safe than sorry. Officials are pushing for everyone to get the H1N1 shot because they believe this flu strain will be the dominate one for several years.
Posted on Dec 11, 2009 under Slot Machines |
Good 10-minute video by Steve Bourie, publisher of the American Casino Guide, talking about slot machines (not video poker) and busting some myths about them.
Posted on Dec 08, 2009 under Promotion |
The full-page ad on the back of the Coast monthly magazine (included in the R-J newspaper one day early in the month) screamed: “Pump up your Connection – Get your 2 cents worth!”
You can get a 2-cents-per-gallon discount on all gasoline purchases through December 31 at any of Rebel Oil’s 50 participating stations with your Club Coast Card (Gold Coast, Orleans, Suncoast, Sam’s Town) or B Connected Card (California, Fremont, Main Street Station).
This is a unique use of a slot club card, since you can insert it right at the pump. But there is a limit to this discount – 15 gallons per transaction.
I guess we would do this if we routinely bought Rebel gas, but as frugal as I am – and Brad says I’m nutty frugal – I don’t think I would make an effort for 30 cents!
P.S. Some will find the coupons in this magazine worthwhile if you want to play at a Coast casino. They include food discounts and multiple-point days. There is also information on Senior-Day promotions: Mondays at the Gold Coast; Tuesdays at the Orleans and Suncoast; and Thursdays at Sam’s Town and Suncoast.
Posted on Dec 03, 2009 under Non-gambling Activities |
We haven’t done this tour but it sounds interesting. If you have been on this adventure, I’d welcome a report under “Comments.”
“Book the Desert Adventure ATV Tour from Awesome Adventures anytime during December and save $50 per person! That’s right, you pay only $139 per person! This is the tour that started it all and is our #1 selling ATV Adventure!
“Get ready to kick up some sand on a private trail system just outside the Valley of Fire State Park! We offer the ultimate self-driving off-road ATV Tour that will allow you to experience the Southwestern Desert from a unique perspective on a private trail system that no uninvited intruders may enter. You will ride your ATV through a series of trails from sand dunes, sand stones, washes and gullies. Drive your ATV to the top of the mesas and see views of Lake Mead, the entrance to the Grand Canyon, and the North Side of the Valley of Fire.
“Gift certificates are available for future travel, but you must purchase now to receive this discounted offer!
“To book this discounted adventure call (702) 257-7338 and use code V4LDEC09.”
This information was found at Vegas4Locals, where there is an abundance of free and discounted activities. Great resource for non-gambling activities and events for both locals and visitors.
Posted on Dec 01, 2009 under Children's Activities |
Here’s a holiday freebie for the children in your life – games, activities, and crafts in Santa’s Wonderland at the Bass Pro Shop connected to the Las Vegas Silverton Casino (and I think also in the Bass Pro stores in other cities). Featured are free photos with Santa through December 24 and free Christmas crafts on Saturday and Sundays, noon-5 p.m. through the 20th.
For more details, you can go to their Web site.