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Saturday Nights as a Poor College Student

By MikeE on Thursday, 19th April 2012 8:34am
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 11


The problem was, I liked the nice hotels. Even worse, I liked my personal space and lots of it. But growing up in California, there was always this belief that Vegas was a weekend town and you couldn't find a party on the weekday. Amateurs. Needless to say, I was successful in convincing most my peers of the wonders of travel flexibility and weekday rates. Still, work obligations of others had us doing semi weekends going Saturday through Monday or Tuesday.

One Saturday in July, my cousin and I had a Wynn Salon with an attached Tower Suite. I don't remember the rate - a good deal but expensive nonetheless. That same trip was my first foray into baccarat. I won a ton. I convinced my cousin to stop playing blackjack and play bacc with me. He won a ton, too. The pit comped us at Terrace Pointe and we scarfed down lobster eggs benedict as the sun rose (those were the precession days when you never had to worry about what the Coffee Shop's hours were). I joked that we should play more baccarat. My cousin didn't take it as a joke. And so we played more and won more. We were invincible that night... err... morning.

We got back to the suite at 9:30am and crashed only to realize that we didn't need that first night in the room at all. As a matter of fact, we had probably spent a total of half an hour in there, the majority of which was hanging clothes and settling in. But still, I've always been an advocate for a nice suite - there's just something about retiring to a supremely comfortable space after a hectic day in the city.

So what did I start doing? I started pulling all-nighters the first night. If I could do it for a damn paper that was due in six hours, I sure as hell would be able to do it in Vegas.

I always planned these trips for the summers, the weeks before Thanksgiving or Christmas - the dead times of the year. Failure of the mission meant I could stroll into any hotel on a walk-in and get a nice room on the cheap anyway. But I never failed because I paced myself drinking and stayed away from wine at all costs. I had moisturizing drops handy for my contacts in the dry weather. I had bankroll to spare and a good night's sleep from the night before. At 6am, I tossed $20 to the front desk agent just as she was beginning her shift. My room would be ready an hour later. And even if it weren't, the spa was already open and in most cases, more comfortable than any bed. And sure enough, as I checked in to my fresh room, I drew the curtains closed and savored the total absence of light. My luggage could wait until the morning.

I saved a lot of money doing this, but even more importantly, it made for some nice stories and fun challenges. Is it for everybody? Definitely not. As my 30th birthday creeps up on me, I don't even know if I'm still able to do it. But hey, if it's a dead time of the year, I'd recommend everyone at least give it a shot. My only regret is that I didn't do it more often when I still had my youth.

Tagged: cheapskating   


Comments & Discussion:

Well, I’m creeping up on my 32nd and I just pulled an all-nighter a few weeks ago. Me and a buddy flew into Vegas from John Wayne. Landed at 9:20 p.m. Took a cab to Aria. Checked in. Dropped the bags off and went straight to dinner at the Old Homestead House at Caesar’s…got there just in time for our 10:30 p.m. reservation. After dinner we gambled all night and I can neither confirm nor deny if we went anywhere else. Didn’t make it up to the room to go to sleep until 8:30 a.m. Having the room that night was a total waste….we could have left the bags w/ the bell desk and checked in early that morning. Of course, we didn’t know ahead of time that we’d be pulling an all-nighter. If an all-nighter is the plan, then MikeE’s post is right on point.
The all-nighter was tough. I never really got over the hangover….we just got drunk again when we woke up at noon.

I propose this strategy every time I go out to Vegas, only to have it shot down by the people I'm going with (even if they're veterans). Maybe I need different friends?

That's awesome, my only problem is my usual trip to Vegas entails me working til 3 or 4 in the morning the night before I leave. Then at the airport by 6ish for my 8am flight, and a 2 and a half hour nap on the plane, then Vegas. I'm good til about 5 then I need another nap.

Maybe if I took a night flight I would give it a go, just strolled past 39 and most of my friends are a bit older, we still appreciate the napping wayyyy too much.

I can't do this any more. My last first-night all-nighter was 4 years ago (then age 34) and it wrecked me for the trip.

I fly in from the east and my West Coast friends give me grief about being hungry for dinner at 5. By midnight all I want is my bed. And maybe some Metamucil. And a glass for my dentures.

I used to do this at the dice table at O'Shea's with occasional power nap at the slots over by the bathroom. This tip gets an A+.

If you're with a group that needs more than one room, just get one room for the first night. That way if you can't make it you have a place to crash and at least you have your bags and other stuff in a room. The key, though, to any of this is not getting a really busy day that second day where you can't get a room until post-noon! That would suck, big time...but you can always grab a lounge chair at the pool!

much more difficult for those of us from the east coast.. that extra 3 hours always kills me when 6 am feels like 9am... it doesn't help i usually take the 5:30am est flight out there..

30? I'm 46 and always pull an all nighter every night I'm in Vegas!!!! GET OFF MY LAWN!!!!!

I did an all nighter the first time I went back to Vegas in 2004. i had an early flight because my friend had to get back early so I decided to not go to sleep until i got home. I wandered the Strip (and saw my fair share of hookers), gambled and wandered all over what was then the Aladdin snapping pictures. I didnt sleep on the plane (sleeping on moving things for me isnt happening) and after visiting a friend who had been in an accident I got home and fell asleep at 2 am so I had been up from 11am Vegas time Friday to 2 am Sunday Chicago time.

When I go to Vegas I am up at 4 AM to catch a 6 AM flight on Friday morning, from the East Coast. The good thing is that even with a connection I'm on the ground at McCarran by 10:30 AM. The bad thing is that I'm waking up at 1 AM PDT, so if I stay up the first night until 1 AM, that's essentially an all-nighter. I've never been an all-nighter type, but now with two little kids, let's say I've become more adaptable in my sleep habits. Now I voluntarily wake up at 4 AM -- we'll see how well I transition to Pacific time on my trip to Vegas next month.

Sometimes I just can't stay awake that first night, and end up crashing at some ungodly early hour. A few years ago I fell asleep at 9 PM the first night, which is a waste. And of course, if I go to sleep at 9 PM, I'm up at 4 AM, and the Strip at 4 AM? Interesting, but being fresh and awake looking for good coffee (which of course is hard to find) among the haggard, hookers and hustlers is kind of weird. I try to avoid that. This year I should schedule a nap.

Pulled an all nighter once on the first night of a bachelor weekend.

Difference was we had flown in from the UK that day, so when I crashed in my shitty room at Excal at 6am, it was 2pm for my bodyclock.

Didnt recover the rest of the trip - not sure I would do it again!

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