Momma’s Destination Birthday Party in Las Vegas: Day 3

My mom and I both sleep in, giving our bodies time to heal our fresh ink.

She texts me that she’s going to take a bath in her soaking tub, and we plan to meet after. Unfortunately her bath is cut short by a call from her sister that my grandpa has fallen and broke his hip. He’s fortunately alright, but that puts a damper on the final day. On my way to the room, I find a discarded White Claw box in the hall, so I crack one.

Not a huge fan of the Claw, but free is free.

My mom and I check out at the last possible minute (protip: ALWAYS ask if they have complimentary late checkout to score an extra hour) and drop our bags at the bell desk, which is quite crowded, and head to the Strip for our last few hours.

A $0 room at the Cosmopolitan is almost as beautiful as the view from the room.

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Momma’s Destination Birthday Party in Las Vegas: Day 1

The genesis of this trip is simultaneously wholesome… and as degenerate as usual.

It all started with an offer for two comp nights at the Cosmopolitan, as well as a free companion room, that expired at the end of April 2021. (Loyal readers will know this stems from the generosity of my friend Costas, who springs for a fountain view terrace for my birthday and lets me put the points on my card).

Naturally, being the degenerate I am, I’ve got the itch to go to Vegas, but also the wherewithal to know we’re still in the midst of a pandemic and that I *probably* shouldn’t go. So I call my mom — who in addition to being my voice of reason, is also a nurse — to talk me down from the Vegas ledge.

And let’s just say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. After explaining the situation, my mom goes “Well, you wear a mask and are safe. And you live alone and work from home, so it’s low risk. I say you go.” As my mind begins to swim with the possibilities of my first Vegas trip since attending the reopening in June, she delivers coup de grace to any semblance of pandemic responsibility with the magic words “if you can’t find anyone to go with you, my birthday is in April and I’d go [since I’m fully vaccinated since January].”

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El Cortez Match Play

Sometimes the best kept secrets are right there in front of you, and you just have to be in the know enough to ask. That’s definitely the case at one of my favorite downtown grind joints, as even *I* was surprised to discover my last trip.

Although many may underestimate the yellow-tinted and heavily-perfumed dive, it turns out they offer one of the best free deals in Las Vegas!

The El Cortez has an excellent deal (that amounts to about $40 worth of match play, free play, and drinks) if you show the player’s club a boarding pass from any airline within 24 hours of landing.

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Gratitude

Viva Las Value would not be possible without the endless support of my incredible family and friends. It’s impossible to articulate how amazing these people are; they deserve much more…

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VLV Recommends

Las Vegas is exciting because it is full of options! But this can also be overwhelming when trying to plan a vacation; there are so many possibilities, it’s hard to know which are worthwhile and which will be a waste of your time/money.

Here at Viva Las Value, I’m committed to helping you find the best value in Las Vegas and sharing my experiences — the good, the bad, and the ugly. While I recognize that experiences differ for everyone, I hope that my recommendations can help give you some clarity and direction.

The following will be a dynamic, growing, and evolving list of attractions/services that I have personal experience with and recommend.

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Resort Fee

re·sort·fee

rɪˈzɔrt fi
noun
  1.  An inescapable nightly fee added on to your room rate, regardless of where or how you book
    • Assessed equally on sale rooms, rooms booked through a third party, and rooms booked directly
      • Charged when you check into the hotel, even if you pre-pay in advance
synonyms: fuck you fee, corporate racket, ripoff, necessary bullshit
Usage Examples
“There will be a $37 a night resort fee assessed on your comped room, sir.”
“As if I didn’t lose enough at the 6:5 blackjack tables, the penny pinchers at MGM hit me with a $40 a night resort fee on my room.”

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Casino Conglomerates

There has been a lot of consolidation in the casino industry, with a couple of conglomerates holding a dominant market share. While you can make a very compelling case that this has screwed over players by promoting a corporate bean counter mentality and…. sorry, I’ll save my socialist rants for somewhere else.

All casinos owned by the same conglomerate will use the same players club. Your spending will be tracked across all the properties that a company owns, which means you can hop between affiliated casinos with the same card. Many companies (namely CET, Boyd, and MLife) have locals casinos throughout the country as well. Concentrating your spending on one company can help maximize your comps and stretch your gambling/entertainment dollar further.

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