Last Monday we received a text message from RVing friends Judy and Steve A. They were on their way back from a visit to California and were about 80 miles from Las Vegas and closing fast. I tried to help them with a hotel reservation by calling a couple hotels in the area.
What a surprise that turned out to be. One hotel advertised rooms for $39.99 a night so we called them. Well, even though the hotel was far from what I would call a resort they had a resort fee of $29.99/day. What is a resort fee you may ask? They said it was for the internet, newspaper, a pool and other things in the hotel. The hotel tax rate for the downtown area is 13% and the outlying rate is 12%. The $39.99 rate winds up costing $78/night. They managed to find a hotel that didn't have a resort fee and saved $28/night.
Now it is rumored that MGM will start charging to park in their garage. It seems that this will drive customers to other casinos with free parking. That is, until the others start charging as well.
We met them the next night for dinner at The American Grill in the Rio Casino and Hotel. We got there early and walked through a large room of slot machines and very few customers. A few years ago they had entertainment on the floor with bands playing on stages that ran on tracks in the ceiling. Not any more. The meals were good with a lot of food, but very expensive for what we got.
It was good seeing our friends again since they left Cactus Country RV park about a week or two ahead of us. They drove back to their home in Minnesota with their 5th wheel and then drove to California a week or so later.
Wednesday night we had some drinks with a fellow Elks Lodge member who we met last week. His brother is a rver and also an Elk and showed up for the happy hour. (3 hours). We had a fun time with them and swapped stories and drank a lot of beer and Canadian Club whiskey. Whew, I can't drink like that anymore and paid for it the next day.
Thursday we met Bill & Sharon R for lunch at the "M Casino/Hotel". As usual we had an excellent buffet lunch at the M and always look forward to lunch or dinner there. Bill and I worked together for over 20 years and he also was in the Foreign Service for a while. They live in the area and love the heat and all the things to do in the area.
They are interested in traveling to Australia soon and we talked about all we did there and how much we enjoyed our trip there. Sharon has a niece who is in Brisbane now on business and is sending back glowing reports on her trip. I think Sharon & Bill have a 14 hour flight in their near future.
We just took it easy today with finding a few geocaches in the area and I found a neat one. Gerry managed to sneak a picture of me putting the cache back in it's hiding place.
After caching for a while we decided to have lunch at the Southwest Diner here in Boulder City. It is a neat place with reasonable prices and good food. Since it was near 100, we tried to stay in the a/c as much as possible. It is strange but it was 94 degrees and it didn't feel that warm. Maybe we have been here in the desert too long.
That was our exciting last few days. How were yours?