Listen folks. Vegas has an amazing menu of choices for gambling, food, and entertainment. And you can break the bank on some of the more popular choices. But, as I learned in high school, popular doesn’t always mean good. So, as you plan your next trip to Mecca, think about these three things…which I imagine some of you might take issue with…discuss, cavort, and enjoy!
Caesars Bacchanal Buffet
Recently a Twitter follower (@sgrnfield) ranted (rightfully so…) about this overpriced and overrated buffet that used up his Diamond celebration dinner credit. From my perspective, I used Reward Credits to treat myself and a friend. The Caesars Vegas BACCHANAL BUFFET was crowded and we ended up at a table in the very back bumped up to a crying baby or two. The food itself had variety but the quality was not overwhelming. Mind you, it was OKAY…but not $29.99 for the weekday early bird brunch or (worse) $57.99 for the weekend dinner OKAY. And, without Diamond or better status, the line to get in during peak times is a bit ridiculous. For a similar rate, I’d much rather go to Cosmopolitan’s Wicked Spoon Buffet ($28-49 with kids at a reduced rate), which has a good diversity of choices, has higher than average quality, is similar in price, and is much more spacious in design. Two-for-one offers are everywhere for this buffet (including with the Las Vegas Advisor coupon book). Our servers at Wicked Spoon are always much more attentive than those at Bacchanal. Granted…I only went to Bacchanal once because it was so disappointing.
If you are planning your first trip to Vegas, you should plan to walk…a LOT. However, after you had the chance to walk the Strip, there’s no reason to over-exert yourself when there is drinking and gambling to be done. Uber ride-hailing and Lyft allow for quick movement around the Strip and can get you from Encore to Mandalay Bay in minutes. Feel free to walk to the casino next door, but also shell out a couple of bucks and wander more aimlessly on a whim. Even trips Downtown are more reasonable with the introduction of these apps and their service in Las Vegas. Whatever you do…NEVER…EVER…take a cab. You’ll pay more for worse service. Sorry cabbies…not sorry. If you must walk, take some Fireball with you…
Don’t Overplay Penny Slots
I don’t know the original source, but I credit the Five Hundy by Midnight Podcast (with always entertaining and opinionated hosts, Tim and Michele Dressen), with the “bonus, bonus, M*ther F*cker” quip that has become part of my casino visits. Penny slots have the draw of potentially drawing fun bonuses (usually after getting that third bonus symbol…which, when it doesn’t appear demands a choice word or two). The machines today are bright, colorful, noisy, thematic, and like moth to a flame draw an increasingly shiny audience to play the latest and greatest “hot” machine. However, remember, the lower the denomination the machine, the HIGHER the hold…hold, in short, is how much the casinos KEEP from your bets over time. SO, if you’re betting $3 max on a penny slot, you’re generally better off on a dollar slot betting the same amount…and some even have bonuses! Now, sure, these may not have the same allure as the new slot featuring your favorite TV show (DAMN YOU WALKING DEAD), but you know what is alluring? MONEY. So, consider changing up your play a bit to maximize your return.