Recent weeks have been full of activity for this reporter — some fun, some sad.
During the most recent football playoffs I visited the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino. I had been intrigued by newspaper ads with large pictures of comedian Vinnie Favorito and a headline that said, “What’s Vinnie’s Second favorite F word? Football!”
Clever ad and I knew that the Westgate had a great sports book.
I was able to valet park at the Westgate, and though I didn’t see Vinnie at the Westgate, I’m told that during football season he was often on hand tossing t-shirts to football fans and otherwise helping folks have a good time. What I did see was that every bar, the Westgate Cabaret where Vinnie appears and the sports book were packed with people. The casino itself wasn’t very busy, but on the casino fringes, the liquor flowed. A display of team jerseys was part of the action, and at first I didn’t realize that all the Jerseys were signed by the player who wore that number. Example: a signed Walter Peyton jersey was priced at $2000.
I would expect that today, Super Bowl Sunday, every sports book and bar in Las Vegas will look like the Westgate.
Retirement in Las Vegas is quite nice, say those who have done so. One of the the perks? Casinos want seniors’ business so badly that special senior days during the week give modest senior gamblers extra values….especially when it comes to dining and movie-going. (Seniors with large gambling budgets get free stuff any day they gamble!)
For February, here are a few of the special offerings for local seniors who have gambling cards at the various casinos:
Monday through Friday
The South Point Hotel Casino & Spa offers seniors with a Club Card $4 movies before 4 p.m. five days a week.
With a title “My Generation”, Mondays are senior days at the Wildfire, Barley’s and Greens casinos. The features: 6 times points, 20 percent off dining at the Wild Grill & Brewer’s Cafe, and where applicable, half-point bowling.
The Silverton Casino Hotel offers 50% off dining at Mi Casa Grille Cantina, Sundance Grill and the Seasons Buffet from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m every Monday. Drawings and a slot tournament are also available.
The Palms Casino Resort Spa says timeless Tuesdays feature free buffets (with 300 points), $5 movie tickets, free slot play every 20 minutes (for someone), drawing opportunities after earning 50 points and a free slot tournament at the end of the month.
Station Casinos (Red Rock, Green Valley, Sunset Station, Palace Station, Boulder Station, Santa Fe Station, Texas Station) call Wednesdays a day for “My Generation” (50 and older) and the offers include $4 movie matinees (before 6 p.m.), half-point bingo, half-point bowling, a free slot tournament, 10 times points on slots and 6 times points on video poker, a free Starbucks tall coffee, 15% off pizza Rock at Green Valley Ranch and half-point dining (in February) at the cafes, buffets, steakhouses and hearthstone.
Go to Silver Sevens on Wednesday between 11 and 5 and enter a Nifty Fifty Slot Tournament or dine in the cafe and pay with points and receive a 25% discount or pay with cash and receive a 50% discount. Also, the gift shop gives a 30% discounts to seniors 50 and over on Wednesdays.
Young at Heart days at the Main Street, Suncoast, Orleans, Gold Coast, Sam’s Town and California resorts mean swiping a player’s card and earning up to 50 times points, drawing entries for a drawing that day and, with play, possible buffet discounts.
Thursday is called Senior Day for what are called members of the “Sterling Edge 55+ Club” at the Klondike Casino. The deal: 50% off food prices from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., free bingo cards, double the drawing tickets, and 5 times reel points all day.
At The Tuscany Suites & Casino, senior day means a free slot tournament, two-for-one dining at the 365 Pub and free coffee.
Seniors in Las Vegas often have a very good time..
My brother Roger and I were notified last week that brother Hugh had passed away January 24th. The news was a shock because we and none of Hugh’s friends in the St. Louis area where he spent most of his iife, knew he was ill. Hugh had quite suddenly moved to Mexico several years ago and lost contact with most of us. He said he loved Mexico because it reminded him of a gentler time with gentler people. We understand he used some of his own money and construction talent to help rebuild a local church. Hugh also liked surprises and we understand that when he knew he had a terminal illness (advanced colon cancer), he paid his landlord several months in advance and said he was going on a long fishing trip. His death was the final surprise.
Memories of Hugh are mixed. As a little kid, everyone was amazed at how fearless he was in playing sports. He’d slide into bases or run like the wind and thought nothing of it. If he fell down, he got right back up. He caught a pass at his high school Turkey Day Game that had perfect strangers calling the house to congratulate him. Hugh’s athletic prowess did not translate into a professional career in sports, but he remained a sports fan, owned a bowling alley with batting cages and even helped coach a couple basketball teams.
As an adult Hugh was a talented businessman, played guitar, enjoyed poker, loved golf and often went fishing with brother Roger. At the same time, Hugh could have opinions that were bizarre. After an initial divorce, he held out for another woman who, he said, should have large hands and would be tall because he wanted to breed a basketball player. He never found that perfect woman though he had many women friends. He also was certain that investments in gold and silver were so right we should all buy silver coins and bury them in the back yard. None of us did.
With all that, Hugh was somehow always an exciting guy to have around. A high school friend called him “preposterous and precious,” a great description. We will all miss Hugh Alan Taylor.