February 15, 2012

A wonderful weekend was had by all in it-never-fails-to-amaze “Sin City”. Every day featured fun and enjoyable moments, but there were a few disappointments. Chalk it all up to the “Vegas Vibe”. When it comes to Vegas hospitality is rule #1. Why? Because, whether you’re shopping, golfing, gambling or recreating (in every way and form imaginable), the competition is too fierce not to always put your best forward. There are just too many restaurants, casinos, bars, shops, pretty girls, and golf courses more than happy to take your money if someone else doesn’t want to work for it hard enough. Hence, the hits and misses this year were all geared to hospitality or the lack thereof.

Hits: The usual Goodboys stops never failed to please and impress. Parasol Up and Down bars at Wynn were fantastic. The Hemingway Daiquiris were no longer on their specialty cocktail menu, but the staff was more than happy to make them. Whether it was Friday night inside, checking out all the action (and boy, was there action!), or Sunday afternoon relaxing lakeside just across from the waterfall, the folks at Wynn know how to do it right – all the time. The Peppermill was as it always is: great steak and eggs in the restaurant, yakkin’ with the same bartenders we’ve come to know for the past eight years (Bill and Gary) in the legendary Fireside Lounge. It’s just a fun place and a must-visit. Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Las Vegas, where the bartender went out of his way to make sure the Tiger / Phil matchup at Pebble Beach was front and center at the “5 O’Clock Somewhere” Bar while making me a couple of Bubba’s Big Bamboos (again, a cocktail no longer on the menu but willingly and happily made), is just a great stop. The Cabo Wabo Cantina is a great place for margaritas, and Michelle the bartender was not only easy on the eyes, but fun to talk to as well. The I-Bar at the Rio was the kind of wild and crazy party scene you’d expect very very late on a Saturday night. The Hog and Heifers Saloon, the only bright spot in an otherwise-dismal visit downtown. Let’s just say words alone wouldn’t adequately describe its uniqueness. While the Palm Course at Angel Park was fairly ordinary, the day was warm and beautiful, and the staff there was their usual outgoing and accommodating selves. You really feel like you’re on vacation whenever you head to Angel Park. They too know how to do it right.

Misses: We stayed at Treasure Island for the second year in a row, but won’t again. First off, the folks at the Breeze Bar couldn’t have been less interested in serving the clientele (and it wasn’t just us, we heard the same complaint from others). There’s simply no excuse to wait ten minutes on a Friday afternoon in Vegas to even be acknowledged, let alone served. It was the same everywhere else at TI: service that was sometimes competent enough, other times outright poor, all the time lacking in enthusiasm and a sense of welcoming. The trip downtown to Fremont Street was by and large, a disappointment. With the exception of the H & H Saloon, it just seemed old, tacky, and lacking in any serious vibe. While everything there is definitely cheaper than what you’d get on the Strip (by and large), when I go to Vegas, time is precious and you don’t want to be experimenting hoping something pans out. Live and learn.

All and all, it was another fun weekend. Typical for Vegas, it’s a weekend you start looking forward to as soon as the holidays arrive. By Monday of that week you can’t wait to get there; by the following Monday you’re ready to leave. Yet within just a few days you’re already missing it and can’t wait to get back. I guess that’s why a weekend in Las Vegas is unlike any other.

Filed in: Goodboys by The Great White Shank at 00:09 | Comments (0)
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