Thursday, December 15, 2011

Trip Report: Return to Laughlin, Days #5 - #7

Our room at the Aquarius was on the 8th floor of the south, or California, tower. Since we had previously been in rooms in Laughlin overlooking the river, we wanted some different scenery this time and we requested a "street" view, which would look west.

The Aquarius is a much more "upscale" establishment than the Riverside. It is newer, has a more spacious casino floor, has much nicer rooms, and the eateries are of better quality. It was a nice change from the Riverside.

One thing both casinos do is track your comps as you play, so we were able to watch as our food comps grew. We had comps left over from our previous trip, so we were able to begin eating "free" immediately.

As with the Riverside, I would venture to the slot floor early in the morning. The video poker selection at Aquarius is superior to that at Riverside. In fact, the Aquarius has 2 games with an expected value over 100%. The 2 games I prefer to play, deuces wild and jacks or better, were also available at the Aquarius with expected values of 99.73% and 99.99% respectively, so I was happy. With the comps and cash back the casino provided, that increased their value to over 100% as well. Although the Aquarius also has a no-smoking section, the better games are located in smoking areas, so that is where I played. The casino is so roomy, though, that smoking is not the problem it could be in a smaller casino.

Initially we ate using comps from my account and we saved Donna's comps for a nice steak dinner at the Outback, which we thoroughly enjoyed just steps away form our favorite machines.

On the second day of our stay at the Aquarius, the weather turned even worse. As we looked out our west facing windows on that second day, we saw snow on the peaks of the mountains just outside of town. After watching the weather for a while, it looked as though we were in for more winter weather. This concerned us.

We had planned to return due east along Interstate 40 through Flagstaff, Arizona, and spend the night at Albuquerque, New Mexico. This was scheduled for the following Monday, December 5th. According to the weather we were watching, new storms would be moving through those areas and dumping snow. Surprisingly, more than a foot of new snow had just fallen on Mt. Charleston, just west of Las Vegas. People unfamiliar with the area around Las Vegas may be surprised to learn that just 30 miles or so from LV there is a ski slope, and it was open for business with this new snow fall.

The approaching winter storm was also expected to dip far south into Arizona and New Mexico, even extending into West Texas.

So, we had some decisions to make. We could stay in Laughlin and probably end up having to spend more days there to wait out the storm. If we did so, we would probably have to start paying for rooms after our comped rooms expired. Or, we could leave early and outrun the storm. We had enjoyed several days of gambling, so we decided we would go ahead and leave.

This meant altering our route, though, so we got busy and canceled our reservations for Albuquerque. We decided we would return along the southern route, though not travel back through Wickenburg as we did coming out as that area may have snow already on the ground.

So we enjoyed our final day in Laughlin and spent more hours than normal at the video poker machines. We took a break that afternoon and drove over to Bullhead City to fuel up($3.19 gallon) to be ready to pull out early the following morning.

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