The Fabulous Flamingo : The VT Review 2004
Who's afraid of a the big bird's flu?
The call came in from the home office... "Go to the Flamingo and write a review." Under normal circumstances one would start jumping up and down - excited at the prospects of staying at The Fabulous Flamingo a building filled with more legends and ghosts than any edifice this side of Transylvania. These are different times, however. A mere month or so before Miss Monkay and I were set to embark, a massive outbreak of the Norovirus sent Flamingo patrons and employees running to the restrooms rendering the Flamingo a veritable ghost town. Quick searches of the VegasTripping hotel reservation system showed that room rates had plummeted to $90 (and below) a truly unheard-of price for prime real estate in the center of ALL the action. Without hesitation we snapped up a room and hoped that the Flamingo Flu would be out of Bugsy's system by the time we would arrive.
And arrived we did... rolling our rental VUV (Vegas Utility Vehicle) to
Sin *ahem* Win City in record time despite a crunch of traffic around the Glen Helen/Victorville incline. As the lights entered sight, we hopped off I-15 to take old Las Vegas Blvd into town - past the famous "Las Vegas Sign", Mandalay Bay, LuXor, Excalibur, The Trop, the future home of Hooters (San Remo) and merged like a white blood cell carrying oxygen (and cash) to the glittering arterial Strip. Cruising down we ogled the soon-to-be-changed Aladdin and soaked in its pre-Planet Hollywood Glory we also gandered at the Boardwalk and its surrounding acreage that will soon be imploded to make way for the next Vegas monolith - currently being called Project City Center. Also notable is the new South Tower and Forum Shops entryway at Caesars - an improvement project that should be ready in the next few months.
We rolled up past the Flamingo, down the barely marked alley way and eventually into its cramped and poorly marked parking garage where we unloaded our gear and headed towards the front desk. Getting into the hotel from the parking garage is a snap... short walk to a bridge that connects to the gift shop gauntlet right past the monorail station (still closed). Immediately after entering we were shocked at how empty it was... and how many people were rolling around with floor polishers and slot machine disinfectant squirt guns. We made our way to the front desk, which had absolutely NO line (odd for a Friday night at 10pm - yet really pleasant.) The attendant took our reservation information and immediately offered a freebie upgrade - our standard room was now an executive suite on the 27th of 28 floors - sweet! After idle chitchat he directed us to the elevators where we could get to our room - #27004.
We arrived on the 27th floor to find brand new bamboo print hallway carpeting and the faint smell of fresh paint. We opened the door to our suite to find a large room with deep blue carpeting, real wood furnishings, a king-size bed, vanity, writing table, a loveseat adorned with two small glass coffee tables that peered out the floor to ceiling windows with a truly beautiful view of Bally's and the Fountains at Bellagio. Total score. Strategically placed on the pillow of the bed was a small note from Flamingo's owners Caesars Entertainment informing us about the Norovirus outbreak with some contact numbers for more information. For some reason my stomach began to ache... psychosomatic illness? Too many sweets on the drive in? Starbucks end product? Jack-In-The-Box? NOROVIRUS? Nah... just nature calling. But I was a little scared for a second there.