Posting a few notes from my busy weekend -
First off, I stopped at the OYO - that parking garage is narrow! Tropicana was holding some Special Event and its lot was closed to everyone. No great changes at the Oyo - carpets are old and dingy, not a lot of people playing. The place is much quieter without the Hooters Girls. Bought ten $1 chips and a few fives and made a beeline to the MGM to get a new Pearl card. Off to Arizona Charlie's and the buffet which was good but not particularly memorable.
The chip show was smaller than the Superbowl event but there were plenty of chips and tokens to look over! Come to think of it, I didn't make the entire circle on Friday - Bud Meyer's, Tom Pleau's and Mitch Heller's chips and tokens kept me busy.
Friday night I went downtown with Raulin Mendonca, we parked in the Plaza parking lot. Not a problem, I thought, its sign offered free parking for one hour and then $5 after that. We hiked over to the Golden Gate for just a few minutes, then back to the Plaza where I got a new player's card; played a couple of slot games with only minimal success, and tried to have my parking ticket validated. No dice. The cashier said only Queen and King tiers get validations now, lowly Jacks like me could not. We walked back to the parking lot. At the pay window there - I was astonished to discover I was being charged $10 for one hour and one minute's elapsed time. Asked the guard what that was about, and he told me, "The $5 rate is for weekdays only, weekends are double that." Parking rip off! Moral: stay away from the Plaza unless you are a Queen.
Saturday - more chips and tokens, had to say hi to Walt Gonski, Butch Reynolds and Al Madrid, not to mention Wendy Schutze and her boxes of tokens. Actually found a few Florida ones before Joel Reznick could get them. Saturday night, Raulin and I decided to got chippin'. Started out at the Stratosphere which is now The Strat. "The Osphere" not having come into the publicity agents' minds. Actually hit a $100 jackpot on a Quick Hits slot game. Off to the Sahara, which is still using SLS chips for another couple of days. We met up with a David Fagundes, Executive Casino Host, he and Raulin hit it off - of Portuguese descent and from Tulare, too. Mr. Fagundes said that thousands of SLS chips had already been sent to the shredder. I was toying with the idea of buying a $100 or even a yellow $500 while they were still on the tables, but . . . who's going to pay $500 for a soon-to-be-defunct chip? Anyone want one, better hustle over to the SLS immediately.
Decided to visit the Westgate next - bought a stack of fives from the craps table and went through them - bingo! - a new chip discovery! By then it was past 10 PM and this old guy was about beat, so back to Arizona Charlie's. But I did notice that one of my OYO chips had both regular and long-canes on the mold.
This morning, I returned to OYO and bought more $1 chips, hoping to turn up more LCV molds (which I did) - then stopped for a player's card which came out of the machine totally messed up - seems the cashier put an already-imprinted card through so I have two member numbers and two names. She also handed me a $5 match-play coupon, which I decided to retain for any collector value.
Off to the Silverton where I saw . . . a genuine Mermaid in the fish tank! Rich Burgel was right!! Somewhat zoftig but a mermaid all the same. Then to South Point for brunch. I stopped off at the poker room to ask about $2 chips. They exist but the staff would not sell any, drop chips, circulation around the poker area only.
And came home, driving over 7 hours - usual pile-up around Primm, traffic jam in Barstow which I avoided by cutting across to Route 40 and getting back to the I-15 - then across Route 18 (which is partly under construction) - I almost made it to L. A., but traffic came to a halt on Pearblossom Highway. I noted most drivers were turning around, three Sheriff's cars came screaming by, and figured I would double back, too. Eventually made it to the 14 and back into Los Angeles. Radio announced that two cars had crashed head-on Pearblossom and that the road was closed. Phew! Made the right call on that one.
Will post some photos of my finds starting tomorrow. Oh, yeah, I kept my promise and made some possum noises at the chip show.