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Tabberone's Travel Guide
Las Vegas, Nevada

Last Updated August 24, 2011

What can we say about Las Vegas that has not already been said? For one thing, in August, it is hot, hot, hot as hell in Las Vegas. Colorado law prohibits smoking in casinos. This is a major plus over Las Vegas casinos for your average non-smoking gambler. The older Las Vegas casinos do not have the ventilation systems that remove smoke as well as the more modern facilities. Even then, smokers do not care when they sit down next to you. 80% of the American population does not smoke but businesses seem petrified of offending the 20% who do. Go figure.

The casinos on the strip would rather see blackjack tables sit empty at $10 minimums than have them full at $5 minimums. It must be an ego thing. People will bet $25 or $50 a hand at a $5 table if that is what they are inclined to do just as quickly as if they were at a $10 table. It makes little sense to have dealers standing there at empty tables while players are lining up for seats at $5 tables. Bad management or ego run amok?

If you are flying into Las Vegas, the airport has a very efficient car rental procedure in place. Unless you are planning to be a hermit your entire stay, or you fear driving in a strange city, rent a car. It gives you much more flexibility and allows you to enjoy the city much more. And when will the Las Vegas Hotels get the message about the internet and the 21st Century? They still want to charge for internet access which is a rip-off in this day. And not a nominal fee but big bucks. Get real.

Palace Station Casino
We stayed at the Palace Station Casino because they offered Karen three free nights if she played in a free slot tournament. Why not? It is a few minutes west of the strip. This casino has every imaginable table game you could want and then some. Would we stay there again? You betcha.
Parking - Exit Sahara Ave West off of I-15. Get in the left lane immediately. Do not turn into the Palace Station parking area. Go past the Palace Station to the light at Teddy Drive (there is a 7-11 on the left corner). Get in the left lane and turn left on Teddy Drive. Do not be fooled by the 3-level parking garage on the left. Go past it to the light at King Way. Turn left at King Way. To your left you will see a six-story parking garage. Enter there. Take the elevator to the first floor. You enter the hotel lobby through the Starbucks. If you are staying at the hotel, turn left to check in. If you are there to gamble, turn right for the casino.
Rooms - Nice large flat screen TVs. TV station selection somewhat limited. Doors to ajoining room too thin which allowed sound from TV next door to keep us awake at 5am. Linen smelled slightly of cigarettes which suggests it was washed with linen from smoking rooms. Smell more obvious after taking a shower.
Bathroom - Only one electrical outlet in the bathroom.
Major Positive - The Palace Station did not charge us for the internet connection.
Feast Buffet - The Palace Station is on of several "Station" hotel casinos in Las Vegas. Those with buffets were offering the same discounters deals for their buffets. Breakfast was $4.99 with player's card ($10.79 for two with tax). This was the best breakfast buffet we have ever seen. Fresh fruit, eggs to order, desserts, salads, a variety of prepared eggs and sides. And they leave the coffee carafe at the table. The buffet at the Palace Station looked to be smaller in area size than the buffets at the Boulder Station and the Sunset Station but we doubt that the buffet at the Palace Station was smaller in quality. We highly recommend it.
Fitness Center - Opened 6am which was a negative. Small for a 900-room hotel. Badly ventilated. Needs fans. Only seven pieces of equipment plus free weights. No wipes for cleaning off previously used sweaty equipment. Late opening makes no sense. East coast users would already be at 9am with their internal clocks.
Nearby - 7-11 right next door. Convenient for snacks and drinks if you are staying at the hotel.

Silverton Casino & Hotel
Covered parking garage. Hotel entrance at other end of casino. Signage to hotel lobby from parking garage is lacking. Lots of table games with low minimums.
Parking - If you are staying at the hotel: as you enter the casino grounds, follow the signs to the Bass Pro Shop boat repair facility. It is in the rear. The access road will end, turn left and pass by the Bass Pro Shop. Continue as though you were going aroung the building. When you see the sign that says "Casino Entrance", locate a parking space. When you enter, the hotel lobby is to your immediate left.
Rooms - Showers designed for someone 5'8" or smaller. Showers have retractible clothes line for drying washables. Televisions were old.
Negative - Wanted hefty fee for internet access. It was free if you wanted to go to the lobby with you laptop and walk around to find a spot where the signal was strong enough. The Starbucks Coffee shop had an adquate signal from what one patron told us.
Fitness Center - Open 24/7. Facilities adequate. Background radio overly loud and could not be turned down. TV volume could not be turned up to be heard over background radio so TV was somewhat useless to watch.

Stratosphere Casino & Hotel
Covered parking garage. Signage to hotel lobby from parking garage severly lacking. They had a special for their buffet but the signs had such small print it was almost impossible to read how to get the voucher for the buffet. Table games seems poorly run. Players were standing around for seats at the full $5 blackjack tables while the dealers at the $10 and $25 blackjack tables were idle or had one player. One $5 blackjack table wastes a postion as it is permanently reserved for a handicapped player as opposed to being priority, that is, a player sitting there must relinquish the position to a handicapped played should one appear. Bad management.
Rooms - We had a room on the top floor of their newly renovated Select Tower. Flat screen TV. Poor selection of TV channels.
Bathroom - Bathroom had two outlets which we like but lacked the usual built-in nightlight.
Negative - Wanted hefty fee for internet access.
Fitness Center - Open 24/7. On the "R" Level next to McDonald's. It is old. Needs renovation. Good size. Cardio and free weights. Background music too loud. TV remotes did not work. They did have wipes for the equipment.
Buffet - Good food.
On-Site - McDonald's on R Level. Large coffee is more inexpensive than a medium at Starbucks in the Lobby and McDonald's gives you a free refill.

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