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Thread: Visit to Harrah's Lake Tahoe trip report

  1. #1
    I recently visited Harrah's Lake Tahoe for 4 nights.

    Before I talk about Harrah's and the Tahoe area, I should mention an unfortunate thing which occurred on my drive.

    About 20 miles south of Walker, CA (a town fairly close to the CA/NV border on US-395), an adult deer ran in front of my car, but was able to just barely get by. Just as I turned to my wife to point out what happened, I felt a large thud on the front of the car.

    I knew exactly what it had to be. I looked out the window, and saw a baby deer tumbling from my car to the left side of the road, coming to a stop there.

    I quickly stopped my car and assessed the damage. The animal was dead on impact. My car was damaged, but far less than I had thought it would from such a collision. Airbags did not deploy. Nobody got hurt. Car was still driveable. The damage was mostly on the front bumper, and some various pieces attached there (such as the grills) fell off. We retrieved them from the road, I reattached them, and we kept driving. It will be an insurance claim, and I feel bad about killing the deer, but there was nothing I could do. It jumped right into my car. Also, I later read that 1.2 million people hit deer each year, so I guess this is very common. This was only my second time hitting an animal. The only other time was when I hit a cat in 1992, and it was under very similar circumstances, as one cat had just barely gotten by my car, and a second cat following it ran right into my car. Again, it died on impact.

    Anyway, back to Harrah's Tahoe.

    They were having a Keith Urban concert that week, so I was informed that I could neither get a suite nor a second room, despite being a Seven Stars and despite having a fairly good play history there.

    About 2 hours before arriving, I took one last shot and asked VIP services if they could get me a suite. I was told again that a suite couldn't happen, and that they only had it for the first night of my 4-night stay, and that they have a policy against giving suites under a 1-nigh-and-move situation (claiming that some people refuse to move!)

    It was actually important to have the suite, as we had 4 people total, and needed the extra room.

    When I arrived at Harrah's, I approached the front desk and pretended like I had never been rejected for the suite request.

    "I'm a Seven Stars member, can you check if there are any suites?"

    The very nice girl behind the counter went to the back, came back out, and said, "We're working on that for you. If you can wait a few minutes, we should have one for you."

    Indeed, they did!

    Not sure how this happened, but we got the suite for all 4 nights.

    Despite that, I didn't play. This wasn't a gambling trip. Next time I go to Tahoe (I think in January), I will play, provided they don't murder the good VP games they have there. I did verify that the good VP still existed.

    I believe that all rooms at Harrah's Tahoe have 2 full bathrooms, which is a nice feature.

    The suite was pretty nice, except the layout was stupid, in that the master bathroom was not connected to the bedroom.

    The keycards had a chronic problem of not working very well to open the door, and it seemed to be an issue with the door lock and not the key cards themselves. We didn't bother complaining. There were a few other small maintenance issues which we just lived with, and again didn't want to hassle with a maintenance man coming.

    The dining situation there isn't all that great.

    The cafe (American River) is only open during the day, except on weekends. This is too bad, because it's decent as far as casino cafes go, and it's reasonably priced.

    There are several restaurants at Harrah's and the connected CET property Harvey's which are third-party and do not accept RCs. I found that annoying, and in fact only learned this after ordering and believing my RCs could be used. Lame.

    There are two high end steakhouses. The one at Harrah's is called Fridays Station, and is on the 18th floor with a nice view. The one at Harvey's is on the casino floor, called Sage Room, and has no view. I found that the prices and selection was better at Sage Room, so we went there. Food was fairly standard by expensive steakhouse standards. Not bad, not memorable. Both places take RCs and comps, so I used two of my $100 celebration dinner vouchers, and used RCs for the remainder.

    As is typical with most CET properties, you can get pretty much unlimited bottled waters from both the front desk and VIP front desk. I never took more than 5 at a time from either desk, but I probably ended up taking about 60 of them over the course of the 4-day trip (and used them all!) It was unusually hot (over 90 degrees) and dry (as always) in Tahoe, so water was important, and 4 people will consume them quickly!

    They gave us a neat little Seven Stars welcome gift, containing nuts and chocolates.

    I had planned to take a boat out on the lake, as I had remembered doing with my dad back in the 1980s. However things have changed a lot in Tahoe since then. The boat rental outfits are all ridiculously overpriced, and some of them seem to be scammers. By "scammers", I mean that there are multiple reports all over the web of many operators falsely claiming damage to the boats, and then hitting people's credit cards for $700 or more. Even the more honest outfits are just downright expensive. It's like $145/hr to rent a boat there, and that's before gas and tax, with a 2-hour minimum. No thanks. To show you how outrageous this is, I just rented a similar boat on Las Vegas' Lake Mead for like $55/hour.

    We took various hikes around the Tahoe area, and also visited 2 of the lake's beaches so the kids could play in the water.

    The best hike we took was to Eagle Falls / Eagle Lake, which is near Emerald Bay (on the California side, about 30 minutes from the hotel). Reviews online claimed the hike was steep and dangerous, but those were inaccurate and exaggerated. While the hike was uphill most of the way (and downhill on the way back), it was never overly steep or dangerous, and there was a lot of nice scenery along the way, ending with a peaceful and lightly-visited lake.

    Parking was a disaster. The normally large lot was filled with people there for the two Keith Urban concerts. One of the time it was completely full, and I had to valet, which I absolutely hate doing.

    Anyway, if you have any other questions, feel free to ask me.
    Check out my poker forum, and weekly internet radio show at http://pokerfraudalert.com

  2. #2
    We may have been there same time as you. We arrived Tuesday night and attended the first Kieth Urban concert on Wed night which was very good btw and checked out early Sat morning. There was a second Kieth Urban concert on Friday night so I am not sure what times you were there. We have stayed at practically every type of suite at both Harrah's and Harvey's including the Summit suites on the top floor at Harrah's and can't recall one where the master bath was not connected to the master bedroom. What floor was it on? They have recently been doing some renovations and maybe you got one of the newly renovated suites. In any event that was pretty ballsy of you to demand a suite that they gave you and not do any gambling at all. It will be interesting to see how you are treated on your next visit.

    We love to hike at Lake Tahoe. Our two favorites are to Winnemuka which is close to Kirkwood and to Mount Rose which is above North Lake Tahoe. We also like to walk at least once on each trip and have breakfast at Lakeside Inn and follow it up with a walk down to Nevada Beach. It's less than a mile each way from Lakeside Inn to the beach or you can turn it into about a 6 or 7 mile hike if you include the part that goes back across Hwy 50 and ends up going back down Kingsbury grade.

    There is also a third steakhouse there. It is located on the 19th floor at Harvey's and is our favorite and is called 19th Kitchen. They are all overpriced like all of the CET steakhouses but we have always enjoyed eating there. I was surprised that you did not do the Tahoe Star while you were there. Seven Star card holders get free tickets. They shuttle you to the yacht and when you get there it is about a 2 hour boat ride to Emerald Bay and back and comes with free food and open bar. The Tahoe Star used to be Bill Harrah's private yacht and only runs from the end of June until around Labor day.

    Glad you enjoyed your stay in Tahoe. As far as I know it is the only CET destination left with good VP pay tables . I am surprised they still have not slashed them like they have everywhere else.

  3. #3
    Hi Dan

    I will be at Tahoe next week. I recall it is one of the few CET locations with full pay Video poker at $10 per tier point.

    May I presume you already hit your 150,000 tier credits for seven Stars and so will only start playing in January?

    FAB

  4. #4
    Harveys has a nice bank of $1 progressive 9/6 DDB video poker next to the poker room. I've been very lucky there with Royal Flushes and quad aces with kicker. Here is a sign inside Harveys where it says "Bet with your head, not over it" in the video. The $25 blackjack single deck game outside the Sage Room is the perfect place to play while waiting for dinner


    Last edited by JSTAT; 08-06-2016 at 08:16 AM.
    Casino reporter, enjoys blackjack/baccarat card counting to win. Moviemakerjjcasino on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/Moviemakerjjcasino/videos and Twitter https://twitter.com/Casino_Examiner

  5. #5
    Originally Posted by FABismonte View Post
    Hi Dan

    I will be at Tahoe next week. I recall it is one of the few CET locations with full pay Video poker at $10 per tier point.

    May I presume you already hit your 150,000 tier credits for seven Stars and so will only start playing in January?

    FAB
    I'll be in Lake Tahoe as well, in three weeks for a work-vacation. If anyone wants to know whether a specific machine or table game is still available (at Harrah's, Harvey's, Montbleu, or Hard Rock), just PM me or post on this thread.

    FAB: Druff re-qualified for Seven Stars in April 2015 and the status is good until January 31, 2017.

    JSTAT: The single deck 3:2 games are great (no DAS sucks), but you can get away with spreading 1X $10 to 2X $200 with no heat the Spanish 21 game (using Walker's indices).
    Last edited by nerakil; 08-06-2016 at 08:15 PM.

  6. #6
    Originally Posted by seemoreroyals View Post
    We may have been there same time as you. We arrived Tuesday night and attended the first Kieth Urban concert on Wed night which was very good btw and checked out early Sat morning. There was a second Kieth Urban concert on Friday night so I am not sure what times you were there. We have stayed at practically every type of suite at both Harrah's and Harvey's including the Summit suites on the top floor at Harrah's and can't recall one where the master bath was not connected to the master bedroom. What floor was it on? They have recently been doing some renovations and maybe you got one of the newly renovated suites. In any event that was pretty ballsy of you to demand a suite that they gave you and not do any gambling at all. It will be interesting to see how you are treated on your next visit.

    We love to hike at Lake Tahoe. Our two favorites are to Winnemuka which is close to Kirkwood and to Mount Rose which is above North Lake Tahoe. We also like to walk at least once on each trip and have breakfast at Lakeside Inn and follow it up with a walk down to Nevada Beach. It's less than a mile each way from Lakeside Inn to the beach or you can turn it into about a 6 or 7 mile hike if you include the part that goes back across Hwy 50 and ends up going back down Kingsbury grade.

    There is also a third steakhouse there. It is located on the 19th floor at Harvey's and is our favorite and is called 19th Kitchen. They are all overpriced like all of the CET steakhouses but we have always enjoyed eating there. I was surprised that you did not do the Tahoe Star while you were there. Seven Star card holders get free tickets. They shuttle you to the yacht and when you get there it is about a 2 hour boat ride to Emerald Bay and back and comes with free food and open bar. The Tahoe Star used to be Bill Harrah's private yacht and only runs from the end of June until around Labor day.

    Glad you enjoyed your stay in Tahoe. As far as I know it is the only CET destination left with good VP pay tables . I am surprised they still have not slashed them like they have everywhere else.
    I forgot to mention the Tahoe Star.

    I was about to get those free tickets, and then I was given the bad news that you have to be over 21 to go on it.

    I found that to be stupid. Why not just issue wristbands for the adults or something?

    Anyway, that's the policy, so that was the end of the Tahoe Star for me. Maybe I'll do it if I'm in Tahoe by myself during the summer sometime.

    Our visits did overlap. We also left on Saturday, though I did not go to the Keith Urban concert. I heard it was good.

    Our room was on the 8th floor. I was told it was one of the renovated suites.

    I'm not too worried about the consequences for no-playing. They are unlikely to give me a suite next time I go (probably in January), but that's okay, because I'll likely either be by myself or perhaps with my dad. In January I'll be playing a lot, so I'll get back in their good graces.

    How far is the hike to Mount Rose?

    I had to keep the hikes to a moderate length because I have a 5-year-old. He did manage to do a good job on the Eagle Lake hike, though (2 miles, of which the first half is uphill). He's done as much as 3 miles (again, with some uphill) on trails near where we live, but I can't count on that every time.
    Check out my poker forum, and weekly internet radio show at http://pokerfraudalert.com

  7. #7
    The Mount Rose loop hike is about 5 miles altogether. It is about another 2 to 3 miles roundtrip further if you want to hike to the top of Mount Rose. Next time you go to Tahoe in the Summer you may want to get a babysitter for your kids and do the Tahoe Star. It is a lot of fun and you can't beat the price. Years ago being a 7 star used to get us the Tahoe Star all to ourselves.

    When I first saw your post I thought you might have been the guy in the HLR at Harrah's who was playing the $100 VP machines. I think he was playing $500 a pull. That was before I read where you did not gamble on this trip. Wouldn't have to waste much time getting your points that way. He was getting some handpays but at that level no telling how big they were.

  8. #8
    sorry to partly highjack this thread. but for those of you who have gone on the tahoe star cruise.. what type of food do they offer ? just finger food or a real meal ?
    I'm going later this month and plan to take advantage of the free cruise.. thanks
    JustaDiamind is now justa-seven-star..

  9. #9
    Originally Posted by JustaDiamind View Post
    sorry to partly highjack this thread. but for those of you who have gone on the tahoe star cruise.. what type of food do they offer ? just finger food or a real meal ?
    I'm going later this month and plan to take advantage of the free cruise.. thanks
    It is just sandwiches, chips,a few veggies, and cookies. The best part, other than of course the cruise itself, is the open bar throughout. The yacht only holds about 22 passengers.

    The captain does a narration of the history of Emerald Bay and Vikingsholm Castle once you get to the far side of the lake and the two waitresses on board do a good job making sure everyone has plenty to drink. Definitely a nice perk worth taking advantage of.

  10. #10
    ok thanks...
    JustaDiamind is now justa-seven-star..

  11. #11
    Dan I noticed in your post you wrote "wife." In previous posts wasn't it "girlfriend"? Are congratulations in order?

  12. #12
    Originally Posted by JustaDiamind View Post
    ok thanks...
    Forgot to mention JAD that you may want to take a pair of binoculars with you. As you get into Emerald Bay there are several Osprey nests and we have seen and other small wildlife on the shore. There are occasional bear sightings according to the captain though we have never seen one on any of the cruises we have been on. To see the Osprey nests look towards the top of dead trees. Once upon a time being a 7 star we were able to get our own private Tahoe Star cruise but not any longer.

  13. #13
    ok cool.. thanks.. I'll see if I can find mine..
    JustaDiamind is now justa-seven-star..

  14. #14
    Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post

    The dining situation there isn't all that great.

    The cafe (American River) is only open during the day, except on weekends. This is too bad, because it's decent as far as casino cafes go, and it's reasonably priced.

    There are several restaurants at Harrah's and the connected CET property Harvey's which are third-party and do not accept RCs. I found that annoying, and in fact only learned this after ordering and believing my RCs could be used. Lame.
    Hi Dan:

    You should try Straw Hat Pizza at Harvey's. They are open much longer hours than the American River café and they have a pretty good selection, even breakfast. You can charge to your room, then apply RC or discretionary comps on your way out. I liked watching the Olympics with all the big screens scattered around.

    I was at Harrah's/Harvey's Lake Tahoe last weekend -- one of the last bastions of full pay in the CET empire. I wound up winning $1,400. The difference between winning and losing were two hands of 8/5 Bonus Poker wherein I hit four Aces on a $2 triple play game, for 400 credits each. Goes to show how capricious a winning trip is compared to a losing one. See below:
    Attached Images Attached Images   

  15. #15
    FAB, I just noticed something you wrote and wanted clarification.

    You said that Straw Hat Pizza allows you to charge to the room, and then you can use RCs or discretionary comps at checkout.

    Does the same work at the Hard Rock and other independent on-site restaurants?

    When I ate at the Hard Rock, I just paid real money, as they didn't take RCs. I didn't think of a room-charge-then-use-RCs tactic.
    Check out my poker forum, and weekly internet radio show at http://pokerfraudalert.com

  16. #16
    Hi Dan:

    I never tried to charge to the room at the Hard Rock restaurant so I do not know. I do know that one cannot charge to the room for the food court places in Harrah's Lake Tahoe. I guess you can ask the waiter at Hard Rock before you sit down. I can confirm that I charged my food at Straw Hat Pizza to my room and it was comped on the backside by my host when I checked out.

    FAB

  17. #17
    The room charge then use RC's trick does work at Hard Rock.

  18. #18
    Originally Posted by acescracked_1210 View Post
    The room charge then use RC's trick does work at Hard Rock.
    Is this a way to get around the 2:1 or do they still take double reward credits?

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