I stayed at Imperial Palace for only $80 for 4 nights. It is certainly nothing special, but not awful either. Great location and price. There is lots of construction going on at and around IP for the new Linq project. The valet, taxi, and shuttle bus access points have completely changed and are near the back of the building. There was a very long line and wait for check-in at 3:30 PM. I got a 9th floor room overlooking the pool. I heard that the hotel itself would be remodeled as well and also renamed the "Quad" or something similiar. For now, it's still the same old Imperial Palace.
Took a Showtime shuttle bus from the airport. It is $13 for a round-trip ticket, which is less than half the cost of a taxi ride one way to many hotels. The only thing I am always concerned with regarding the shuttle is whether it will make pick-up on time for the return to the airport. Not to worry this time. The shuttle arrived actually 5 minutes early, and we reached the airport with plenty of time to spare. I'm glad the shuttles are dependable. Taxis are a huge rip-off. I try to avoid them completely. Once I checked in, I bought a monorail 2 day pass for $20 and used it several times.
As for gambling, which I did little of, I only played slot machines this time and used a few of the match play coupons from the American Casino Guide book. Didn't win a thing on slots (Wizard of Oz and the Hangover are my favorites). Lost everything I put into them. Won most of the match plays at roulette.
I ate mostly at various food courts, such as those in the Venetian/Grand Canal Shoppes and New york, New York. Used AGC 25% off coupons for the Spice Market Buffet at Planet Hollywood and for the Flavors Buffet at Harrahs. Food at both places was good and comparable, but service was much better at Harrahs. Service sucked, quite frankly, at the Spice Market Buffet. Ate dinner once at the Grand Luxe Cafe inside the Venetian. Very good. Oh, can't forget to mention the cafe at Ellis Island. Ate there twice, once using 1/2 price AGC coupon. It is always an outstanding value.
Rode the Deuce bus downtown to Fremont Street one evening. The bus was very crowded and stops almost every block. It's really a hassle to get down there and back on the bus. Takes forever. Bought a ticket for "Best Little Whorehouse in Texas", playing at the Plaza, from the Tix-4-Tonite stand at the Four Queens for about 30% off. The show was moderately entertaining, but still not worth what i paid for it, even discounted. It's about a $25 show at most in my humble opinion. I paid $38 to see it. Wanted a ticket for "Jersey Boys" for the next night, but they were sold out. Fremont Street was pretty crowded early in the evening. The "D" has taken over Fitzgerald's. It's all modern and minimalistic looking now. Nice, but none of the "flashiness" of Fitzgerald's to catch the eye.
Did lots of walking and wandering. I think the only casinos on the strip I didn't make it to were the Mirage and the Tropicana this time. I saw the "Bodies" exhibition at the Luxor. It is quite bizarre, yet interesting at the same time. They told me it would take at least an hour to walk through it. It only took me about 25 minutes, maybe.....for $30. When you are ready to leave, you have to get a personal "escort" to private elevator, down a service hallway, then back to the public areas. It was kind of frustrating to have to go through all that just to get the heck out of there when you're finished. Not a good set-up.
The weather was absolutely perfect. Brought a light jacket, but only needed it once in the evening. Pan handlers and con-artists are everywhere. Someone is always trying to get your attention or pull you in their direction for some kind of scam or scheme. Don't fall for it. Keep on walking.
That's all for this trip.