Posts Tagged ‘travel’

“Favorite Slots” is a Hot Topic on TripAdvisor Las Vegas Forum

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

"Gold Fish" - a popular slot game from WMS Gaming.

For a spirited discussion on “favorite slot machines,” visit TripAdvisor and check out what people are talking about right now in regards to slot machines. This is one hot topic on TripAdvisor considering the original post asking Las Vegas visitors to name their favorite slots game is dated August 24th and the replies keep coming – six pages of them so far.

I don’t play slots too often but always stop and check out any new games I see  – think eBay®, Deal or No Deal® – and any games that seem to have a lot of people gathered ‘round.

From the topic replies, it looks like “Gold Fish” from WMS gaming is a hot slot favorite.  I mention this one specifically because P.B. and I walked by a double bank of the machines several times during our last stay at Paris Las Vegas and not once was there a machine open.  People were even hanging around waiting for machines to open up so they could play.  Hmm, based on its popularity, maybe we’ll check it out again when we go to Vegas later this month.

The hot new "Wizard of Oz" from WMS Gaming.

The hot new "Wizard of Oz" slot machine from WMS Gaming.

We recently saw this new game at Harrah’s Ak-Chin near Phoenix  – “The Wizard of Oz” from WMS Gaming (for information, click on the game icon in this cool virtual gameroom.)  Check out the high-backed spaceship seating for this game.  Here’s what the manufacturer says about it on their website:   “The Wizard of OzTM is the newest theme in the revolutionary “Sensory Immersion Gaming” product category, where players hear, see, and feel the experience, thanks to real-time 3D animation and our innovative gaming chair that features the BOSE® 3SpaceTM audio system and CPU-NXT®2 enhanced graphics.” Again, we didn’t get a chance to play since all the machines were taken but we will definitely play Wizard of Oz slots in the future — when we get the chance.

If you’re a slots player, I’d love to hear about your favorite game and where you play it.  Also, check out the thread on TripAdvisor and chime in with your recommendations.

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Fort McDowell Fall Events – Costumes & Country Music

Sunday, October 12th, 2008

Look for scary costumes at Fort McDowell Casino's Halloween bash.

Looking for a fun Halloween party in the Phoenix area?  How about one where you can win cash for your most creative costume?  Grown-up revelers can head to Fort McDowell Casino on October 30th for their annual “Costume Bash” at the casino’s Lucky 7 Saloon.  Although we haven’t – as yet! – dressed up, P.B. and I have been to this event a couple of times and it really is a lot of fun.  You’ll see lots of elaborate costumes – both scary and funny – and you can dance the night away to live music starting at 9 PM.  Registration for the costume competition starts at 6 with judging from 9 to 11 PM and prize-winners announced at 11:30 PM.  Keep the evening’s celebration going by booking a night at the adjoining Radisson Fort McDowell – it looks like rooms are still available at this time.


Win a trip to the CMA's from Fort McDowell & KMLE Country!

Win a trip to the 2008 CMA's in Nashville.

Also this month, The Fort kicks off its “KMLE Country 108 CMA Trip Giveaway” promotion.  The Grand Prize is a 3 day/2 night trip for two to the 42nd Annual Country Music Awards in Nashville.  The trip includes airfare, accommodations, tickets to the event and $200 cash.  Beginning October 20th, players club members can swipe their card for entries into the drawing which will be held on November 2nd at 7 PM.

Be sure to visit The Fort’s website for details on all upcoming events.

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Hot Deal Alert – The Venetian or The Palazzo Las Vegas for $119 Night PLUS Slot Credits!

Saturday, October 11th, 2008
A luxury stay at a great rate awaits you at The Venetian.

A luxury stay at a great rate awaits you at The Venetian.

For the most up-to-date deals, click here for our Events and Offers page.

Looking for a last-minute vacation to Vegas?  Your quest for a great deal has been answered.  Calling it “The Ultimate Escape,” both The Venetian and The Palazzo in Las Vegas are promoting a great offer on rooms right now – especially if you can get away during the week.  For just $119 per night weekdays or $159 per night weekends on selected days from now through JANUARY, you get a luxury suite PLUS $50 per day in slot credits (up to $100 total) PLUS $50 in drink vouchers and a line pass good for four people at the brand new LAVO restaurant and nightclub at newly-opened and absolutely stunning Palazzo.  (I recently spoke to some people who attended LAVO’s opening night and they said it is definitely a place you’ll want to see in Las Vegas.)

This offer was just in my emailbox this morning so lots of dates are still open as of this post.  Check out all the dates available in December and think about combining a fun getaway with some unique holiday shopping at The Grand Canal Shops at The Venetian.  But hurry, these terrific rates are only good if you book by October 31st so grab your calendar, pick your dates and head to Las Vegas for a fabulous stay at either The Venetian or The Palazzo.

UPDATE: Booking has been extended through November 30th for the room rates.  Other details of the promotion may have changed so ask when you book your room.

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Fall Foliage Trip to New Mexico & a Visit to Isleta Casino & Resort

Friday, October 10th, 2008

Set your GPS for Isleta Casino and Resort near Albuequerque

Set your GPS for Isleta Casino and Resort near Albuquerque

Don’t you just love autumn?  The stunning spectacle of leaves turning ingot gold and fiery rust…that exhilarating first burst of cold morning air.  Since those are NOT something we get to enjoy in Phoenix, P.B. and I always take at least one or more three to four day trips somewhere north where we can recharge from the long hot summer and enjoy autumn’s colorful show along the way.

This year, I’ve got a new place I want to visit – Isleta Casino & Resort in Albuquerque.  Our local paper recently had an eight-page advertising supplement put out by the tourism department of the state of New Mexico and in it was an entire page devoted to this one casino.  From the photos and descriptions, it looks like a great destination with plenty to do and lots to see plus it’s in one of our favorite Southwest cities.  And, since the drive there and back takes us through miles and miles of high desert plains, mountains and forests, I’m betting that it will be one spectacular ride this fall. 

Here’s the trip we’ve planned for this Fall that will take us through Northern Arizona and into New Mexico. There’s so much to see and do but we’ll be sure to leave lots of time for gaming and relaxing…as well as time for enjoying some great Southwest cuisine.

Day One– Leave Phoenix about 10 a.m. and drive north on the Beeline Highway (AZ 87) and follow it through the Tonto National Forest before stopping for lunch in Payson at Cucina Paradiso Italian restaurant. (Try their homemade spumoni ice cream – it’s well worth the calorie splurge.) After lunch, continue on through northern Arizona and on to New Mexico for a late afternoon check-in at Isleta Casino & Resort.  (Call and ask about their $99 room rate during October.) Spend the rest of the day just tooling around the resort – probably play some video poker or slots.  With more than 1,600 machines to choose from we should find some of our favorite games. Dinner that night is at the resort’s 505 Fusion restaurant where I will definitely try their posole – yum!

Day Two– If the weather is right, we’ll head to Isleta’s stocked lakes for some fishing and maybe a fall picnic lunch. Later, I’ll visit the spa for a chocolate facial (now that will take away any fishy smell from the day’s catch!) while P.B. takes a nap or plays in the casino. That evening, we’ll head into Albuquerque for a visit to the Old Town Plaza and a little shopping – you can never have too many pairs of silver and turquoise earrings – followed by a dinner of tamales and chile rellenos at the Church Street Café.  Later, back at the resort, we’ll check out the entertainment in the lounge, play a little more poker and make this our late night out.

The city of Albuquerque

The city of Albuquerque rises along the Rio Grande river. (I should get some kind of prize for how many times I have correctly spelled the word "Albuquerque" in this post.)

Day Three – After we sleep in a bit we’ll have a late breakfast and then take a ride into Albuquerque and to Sandia Casino & Resort and try our luck there. Later that afternoon we’ll travel 4,000 feet up Sandia Peak on the famous Sandia Peak Tramway for a breath-taking view in every direction. We took the tram once in the spring a few years ago and had a wonderful experience so I can only imagine how beautiful the view will be with all the fall leaves blazing in the light of a late afternoon sunset. (Be sure to have a jacket available for the trip to the summit as it gets really cold at that elevation.) After the tram trip, it’s back to Isleta and an early dinner before calling it a night. We want to be well-rested for the drive home.

Day Four -Time to drive back to Phoenix but this time we’ll take I-40 all the way to Flagstaff and then head south to the Valley via I-17. If the timing is right, we’ll do a lunch stop at Cliff Castle Casino (exit 289 off I-17) for my Indian Fry Bread “fix” at the casino’s Gallery restaurant. Finally, home to Phoenix and a last burst of warm Indian summer temps before cooler weather comes to the desert.

Cucina Paradiso 512 N Beeline Hwy Payson, AZ 85541 (928) 468-6500

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Travel Arizona – “Cliffs” Part 2 – Ridin’ the Verde Canyon Railroad

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

Mountains surround the Verde Canyon Railroad depot in Clarkdale, Arizona.

The Verde Canyon Railroad Trip

I promise you that I am going to wax poetically while describing this trip – there is just no other way to do it justice.  If you live in Arizona and haven’t taken this trip – stop right now, scroll down to the link and make reservations – it is that good.

Here’s a look at our trip.  We chose the Starlight Tour which leaves at 5:30 PM on select Fridays and Saturdays from May through September.  If you are booking your trip for other months, be aware that the train runs year ‘round with a variety of special seasonal trips and varying times so don’t worry – there will be a great trip available for you, too. 

We arrived at the depot in Clarkdale, a small town located just a short drive from Cottonwood, and spent some time in their interesting gift shop before boarding the train.  (There is also a snack bar at the depot and you can eat there or take something onboard for later.)  Our tickets were for First Class but you can also choose Coach Class with Adult, Child and Senior tickets available.  Couples and others looking for a little quiet time should definitely consider the First Class option.

Once we boarded and settled into our comfy sofa-style seating, we were introduced to the amenities of the First Class car including a cash bar and the complimentary snacks which, for our trip, included hot wings, mini-sandwiches, a cheese and cracker selection plus my favorite, a fresh mozzarella and tomato salad.  After what the train staff calls their traditional “toast to a good ride” – your choice of champagne or sparkling apple juice – we were off. 

The setting sun gives a molten glow to the mountaintops.

Red cliffs and molten gold mountaintops on the Verde Canyon route.

The train travels along the upper Verde River, through red rock canyons and past soaring cliffs colored orange and gold, sage and slate with bits of lavendar and rose thrown in for good measure.  Along the way, your bartenders and hosts will provide a running travelogue of sites set against a backdrop of original music.  You can stay in the enclosed car or for the best experience, enjoy your ride outside on the open-air viewing car.  During your journey, you’ll see ancient cliff-dwellings, bald eagle nests, and some of the most beautiful scenery anywhere.   If you’re lucky, you may spot an eagle gliding through the canyon or an elk stopping by the river for a cool drink.   There’s so much more but I want you to be surprised when you see it first-hand.

My favorite part of our journey was the nighttime ride back to depot when the only lights came from the seemingly millions of stars above and from the headlamps of the train reflecting off the canyon walls.  This is a ride I would love to take again – either a daytime trip in the Spring when the wildflowers are in bloom or perhaps one of their wine-tasting journeys. 

For online reservations visit their website here – Verde Canyon Railroad

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Travel Arizona – “Cliffs,” Canyons and Cottonwood Eats

Monday, October 6th, 2008

Greetings from Cliff Castle

Arizona offers lots of great travel options for players so when you can combine a casino trip with a train ride, spectacular scenery, a wealth of good food and a visit to a national monument, what’s not to like? Backstory – Last March, P.B. and I attended the Phoenix Suns’ “Suns and Stars Charity Event” at the Arizona Biltmore and bid on and won a travel package featuring two nights at the Best Western – Cottonwood and tickets for four people on the Verde Canyon Railroad. Using those two items, we put together a really fun trip with lots of indoor and outdoor activities – a trip that we highly recommend you consider for a quick getaway. (more…)

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“The Fort” Offers an AZ Getaway at a Great Rate

Saturday, October 4th, 2008

Entrance courtyard at the Radisson Fort McDowell.

Whether you are planning a visit to Phoenix or you live right here in the Valley, if you haven’t visited Fort McDowell Casino lately, now is the time to take advantage of a special player’s club discount and enjoy a fall stay at a great rate at the luxurious Radisson Fort McDowell Resort.  Spend the day enjoying the resort’s many amenities -spa, swimming pools, gourmet restaurant, golf at the nearby We-Ko-Pa Golf Club – then play the night away at the casino. (more…)

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Las Vegas Travel Tips – What to Pack

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

Pack these items

Here are 10 tips for “must-have” items for your next trip to Las Vegas. Whenever you travel – either to Las Vegas or to other warm-weather resorts – always remember less is more. Pack light and leave room for lots of travel souvenirs! (more…)

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