Small Group Trip to Vegas (need replies fast!)

Ok, not really that fast. A bunch of my friends that are now scattered to the four corners are looking at having a sort of “reunion” tour in Vegas. Two of the guys coming had their bachelor parties here, with most of the bachelor group returning. Now, we were never that wild when we were younger, so we’re not looking for something crazy a la The Hangover*. Some of us might even bring our elderly fathers along.

We’re looking for a place that can accommodate 5-10 people, with 2 per room ideally, plus one nicer room to have our poker game, hang out and shoot the shit, etc. I’ve sent feelers out to a few different places, but was looking for recommendations. We don’t want to spend a fortune, but not looking to go Motel 6, either. It will be during March Madness, so our agenda will likely be:

spend some time in the casinos.
have our own poker game
drink some beers
watch some basketball - one of us is a Duke alum, but we’ll deal with that
wander around gawking at the same crap we gawked at back when

not likely to be on the agenda:
strip clubs, hookers or blow
Thanks for the input
*The “wackiest” thing we did on the last trip was the Star Trek experience and I skipped that part - too wild for my blood! - ok, I’m just not a Trekkie.

Most of the Harrah’s properties are advertising quite reasonable rates. Center Strip is where you want to be, so try Flamingo or Bally’s. For more down-scale, but still with prime location, there is Imperial Palace. That puts you within walking distance of just about everything. If you want to go more up-scale, try Caesars across the street. That has become our new home-away-from-home, and we really like the rooms and the service.

We’re actually torn between staying on the Strip, staying on Fremont Street, or somewhere near but not quite on the Strip. Best value seems to be in the last two. I know some people say “Don’t worry about the room, you won’t spend any time in it anyway” but in this case there is a decent chance we’ll spend a good deal of time just hanging out. The trip is more about spending some time together than time in a casino. Of the five most likely attendees one lives in the East Bay area, another on the Oregon Coast, one in Ohio, another Bay Area guy (who travels a lot so is hardly ever there) plus me, the Florida guy, who will probably fly in from Germany or England (or fly out to one of those places).

If you don’t care about being on the Strip, I’d say check out rates at the Rio or South Point. The Rio is very close to the strip, and all of their rooms are suites, which would serve you guys well if you’re going to spend time in someone’s room hanging out. Lots of space. Similarly, South Point’s rooms are all 500 square feet, and their rates are normally quite cheap. South Point is about five miles south of the Strip, however – I don’t know if that would be a factor for you.

At any rate, either place has all of the amenities you’d want within. In fact, if anyone in your party is so inclined, South Point also has bowling and bingo and (I think) a movie theater.

Stay away from Downtown. It isn’t worth the savings. Even the remodeled rooms aren’t that great, and the noise from the Experience is annoying. Ditto the low-roller crowds.

The Rio is a good choice. So it Orleans. Orleans has an 18 screen movie theater and a bowling alley. I wasn’t at all impressed by South Point. Their buffet reeks. It’s right down there with Imperial Palace on the list of shitty dining. This does not bode well for the rest of the hotel.

The Rio looks nice and the Orleans have some options that I think might work well. Maybe get one of the Louisiana suites and then supplement with extra rooms as needed.

We had a pretty good time the one night we went to the casinos on Fremont last time. We commandeered a black jack table and there was a rock band playing next to it. It got a little loud and crazy, but I preferred it over the incessant jangling of the slot machines. We also had a fun dealer, which always makes it a better time. Of course we’re normally a group of smart-ass wise crackers (I’m really surprised that at least a couple of the other guys aren’t on the SDMB) so if the dealer has a sense of humor then we’re good to go.

I would consider Flamingo or Bally’s because of the location. Ballys has bigger rooms I believe. The price is right at both.

Hotel32 at Monte Carlo could be a fun option. They took the top four floors to created a boutique hotel. They are maybe $200 a night, but include round trip airport limousine, private concierge and butler. If two guys are splitting a room, it works out. The Sportsbook isn’t bad there.

For drinks, I always recommend Blondies in the Miracle Mile Shops (Planet Hollywood). Its $20, all you can drink at happy hour 3-6. Lots of TVs for sports.