The wonderful Las Vegas site, Vegas Tripping, recently had it's annual Trippies Awards. And yours truly cast his ballot and I would like to share some reaction to the winners and losers.
Best Overall: The readers selected the Bellagio, the editors took the Wynn. Mr. Booze can't afford to go to either place. Of places a cheapskate like me can afford, it's hard to beat Main Street Station. Or maybe Golden Nugget in the summer if you need a pool.
Worst Overall: The readers are going to pick on Circus Circus so much, you have to wonder why they even included them as an option. The editors love the Circus Circus and implored people to give it a shot last year. Doesn't look like many did. The editors picked the Tropicana as the worst. The reason? They haven't updated the rooms. That seems curious because who cares about the rooms? Certainly not the people (like me) who stay at the Trop. There's a reason why the dingy Garden Rooms are always sold out during the summer. Keep the upgrades to the pool, add some better food options -- they have a point there -- and we're cool.
Best Swank Joint: Wynn (R), Wynn (R). Seriously, do you have the coin for that? If money was not an option, I'd rather stay at the Hard Rock. Even as an old guy. And the Fremont. Does that count?
Worst Swank Joint: Caesar's Palace (R), Venetian (E). Wonderful choices. I wouldn't stay at Caesar's for free. The rooms are nice, but who gives? You need a map to navigate the casino. Table limits are high and they have those crappy Harrah's rules. Honestly, what's the attraction of this place? And the Venetian ... even if you needed a new mega resort, you couldn't build a new version of The Sands? Hate that place.
Best Grind Joint: Orleans (R), The Golden Gate (E). Wonderful. The "Old n Gay" has tried to spruce up its image with go-go dancers in the pit during the weekends. Just stop it. While it's nice that you give the gals from Glitter Gulch the opportunity to make some money with their clothes on, just stop it. Not needed. I'm also holding out hope for the new Gold Spike. Please bring back the tables.
Best Rooms: Wynn (R), Encore (E). Needless category. Decent towels are a bonus, but come on, if you get drunk enough, the room doesn't matter.
Best Casino: Wynn, Belagio (R), Encore (E). Must be nice to be able to play there at those levels. I always loved the pool-side action at the Hard Rock. Not sure why, but I always wound up with money playing out there. Nothing beats rolling up early on a Friday, hitting the pool to play some blackjack and hopefully win some money. Plus, the area is so small, the drinks come out fast and furious. Miss the purple felt at the Fremont, but still one of my favorite casinos. I'm warming up to Binion's again.
Best Poker Room: Bellagio (R), Bellagio (E). Never played there. Me, I'm partial to the Imperial Palace room. For whatever reason, I love that place. Probably because Harrah's tables have the worst rules, but the poker comps are still generous.
Worst Poker Room: O'Shea's (R), Excalibur (E). Never played and Excalibur is pretty brutal. And is that right, it's automated now? Lame.
Sports Book: Caesars Palace & LV Hilton (R). Anything beats the Tropicana. Surprised they didn't get ripped here, because they get ripped everywhere else. Heard the Riviera has a nice book now. Circus, Circus was listed as the worst. No chance of getting stuck there.
Best Dealers: Bellagio (R), Wynn (E). They had better be nice if they are going to have such high limits. The worst are Circus Circus (R) and Vegas Club (E). The Vegas Club used to have this great dealer named Inch. He was awesome. But the new owners of the Vegas Club are awful and the place is a dive. No need to ever step foot in there.
Drink Service: Surprise, the Wynn brings great drinks. You know the drill by now. Circus Circus (R) does not. Nor Caesar's Palace (E). Good call on the later. They won't let you get bombed there anymore. Jerks. You have to pay for bottle service. Pass.
Best Waitresses Outfits: Rio (R) and Playboy Club (E). The editors cheated. Damn, if the Rio ever gets sold (and it's a surprise Ruffin didn't buy that one), that place could be cool again. I'd stay there in an instant if they ever got good owners with decent limits and stuff again. Free the Rio! Of course, worst are Circus Circus (R), and Mermaids (E). Good call.
They didn't have a list for best pool. That seems kind of odd, but that's for a blog post in the future.