Las Vegas: Good News and Bad News

The best thing about my room at the Westgate is the view. I face due west, looking toward Wynn, Encore, Conrad, the monorail line, and an enormous Westgate sign reminding me why I keep getting knocked off the internet.

Ever since I checked in Sunday, I have been trapped in a time-warp. This property has never escaped 1955, from its smoke-filled casino to all the open-air restaurants that reek of that carcinogenic poison. Without a coffee-maker in the room, the only way to get a morning cup of coffee is to succumb to CharBucks, as the late Jackie Mason aptly called it. The only alternative is Sid’s, where the smoke is thick and service is slow. Not worth it for $5.

Speaking of not worth it, I had hoped to recommend Westgate on my TRAVEL ITCH RADIO podcast. Sadly, that will not be in the case. In fact, I will recommend against it.

In addition to the persistent, perplexing, and maddening internet issue, the techie who came up to “help” had the audacity to tell me I was the only one in this 3,000-room property to complain. So I asked around — and found that everyone had the same problem.

Since I am here as a domestic journalist with ipw (short for International Pow Wow), that is not a good thing. I am supposedly here to promote Las Vegas in general and Westgate in particular. Sorry, guys. Not happening.

I picked Westgate because of price plus its proximity to the convention center, which is a brisk five-minute walk, plus the fact there’s a monorail stop right on site.

As a light sleeper, I also requested a high room in a quiet location, without an adjoining door to the next room. I asked for that in writing not only when I booked Westgate on May 18 but also when I checked in. Guess what I found the minute I walked in? Yes, there is that nice view.

Also absent in this anachronistic property is MLB Network. Las Vegas may be a sports-crazy town — and certainly has packed sportsbooks in every casino — but denying guests the chance to watch baseball and baseball news is a miserable failure. Though not a surprising one.

When I complained about missing MLB Network, the staffer I spoke to said there’s no interest in it. No interest in America’s national pastime from a hotel anxious to rob its guests by getting them to place bets in the sportsbook section of the casino? I know other properties are not so thoughtless.

Did I mention it took three days to get anyone to fix the bathroom sink that didn’t drain? Or that the bottom of the bathtub feels like sandpaper, ruining any chance for a relaxing and much-needed soak after days of endless walking?

While the Westgate staff seems polite, they are also oblivious. From Day 1, they didn’t know when or where ipw shuttles would pick up in the morning. And signage, traditionally a staple of ipw, has been virtually non-existent. There are dozens of domestic journalists staying here who are equally stymied by the ineptitude.

Things began badly for me when I asked for a two-hour checkout extension and was told that would cost an extra $28. Now they say they’ve waive that charge because of all the trouble I encountered with the room.

We’ll see.

Suffice to say I wouldn’t stay here again if Westgate offered a full comp. It’s just not worth all the aggravation.

And I wouldn’t be surprised if the internet knocked me off before I can publish this blog. Here goes nothing.

Published by Dan Schlossberg

Author, writer, speaker. Only U.S. journalist who covers baseball and travel exclusively. E.mail ballauthor@gmail.com.

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