March 3rd, 2022
Today we awoke for the last time in the Bellagio. We had really enjoyed our stay in one of the best hotels on the strip. We would be saying goodbye to our wonderful Fountain View room and heading all the way to Paris…the one across the strip, not the one in France! We had an easy morning just packing out things up and getting ready to leave. Once done we simply strolled (well Kate did I had to lug 2 really heavy cases across the road) and dropped our bags off at the Paris Bag Check, still WAY too early for check-in.
However, we had plans for the morning and we headed straight to the Tour Pick-up point for our pre-arranged Transport. As we waited Kate was trying to work out which tour bus would be ours, I repeated said not to worry as it would be very obvious which was ours, but there was no trust and we played the “is this ours” game for the whole time until…
Our intended destination sends you out a military Humvee for pickup so is pretty distinct from most other tours but Kate really couldn’t quite accept this until it actually arrived. It was a rough old beast, with very few luxury accouterments, a wooden bench, and a tie strap to stop us from falling out the hole in the back. It was however great fun driving down the strip in this historic vehicle on our way to the Range
Battlefield Las Vegas
Las Vegas has a really wide and vibrant shooting range scene. It is one of a few places in America where you really can rock up and just shoot anything. Of course, there is an ever prevalent gun culture throughout the states but it is only really in Vegas where it becomes an entertainment form. This is of course unsurprising, as Vegas is really famous for its anything-goes mentality and Adult Playground Image.
We know Guns are a sensitive topic and we arrived just as war was erupting in Ukraine, which added a whole new level of inappropriateness to proceedings. But this is Vegas and even Deadly Fire Arms can be considered fun. We are very keen to swerve the whole political element to the Gun Laws in the USA and the one thing about the way the Gun Culture in Vegas is operated is a HUGE focus on safety. These guns are stored on-sie in secure lockups and are used solely for range shooting in very controlled environments.
We have all grown up with Hollywood depiction of guns and this is about as close to that as you can get. It’s entertainment and we really sell very little issue with it. It is certainly far less contentious in our eyes than the whole Marine Mammal Debate!
Battlefield is our favorite range as they take the whole entertainment slant to a whole other level. The Range is situated within Battlefields Tank and Aircraft Museum, which is really worth checking out all by itself. A huge array of tanks, APCs, and Helicopters all in various arrays of restoration. There is even an Iwo Jima tank on-site signed by an Iwo Jima Vet which is especially poignant.
We arrived at the perfect time. It was incredibly quiet but there seemed a huge rush of people arriving just behind us. We had booked the Modern War Package (4×25 assault rifles), upgraded to include an M249 SAW belt-fed machine gun (40rounds) so we had 140 rounds of fun lined up. Kate was not in the mood so was stuck with film duty.
After signing in and confirming, several times we were 100% Sober (it was only 12 am!) we waited for our operative to take us into the range. Eye and Ear protection need to be worn at all times and we were warned that violations of this policy would be met with force, as would any attempt to point the weapon anywhere but downrange. These warnings were light-hearted but seemed advisable not to test them.
First up were the 4 Assault rifles, the M4 (M-16 derivative) with red-dot sight, the FN-SCAR-L (a Special Ops Favorite), the H&K G36(Advanced Lightweight Rifle), and the AK-47. Fired in that order. The M4 is the “Vanilla Rife” with the SCAR and the G36 the higher-tech models and the AK-47 was just a raw animal that licked flame down the range. The G36 felt the best rifle but has serious issues in reality, but the AK was just so much fun. The Operator gave you a few rounds of Semi to have a go at accuracy before switching to Full-Auto. You can let her rip, or just fire off bursts. Firing Bursts help make the ammo last just that bit longer.
Finally came the SAW. This is a Full-Auto Belt-ed Machine gun and is a whole load of fun. I still opted for bursts but let it ride a whole lot longer than the Assault Rifles. And that was it. $300+ gone up in smoke in less than 15 fun-filled minutes!
It may have been expensive, but it was a whole load of fun. I could have spent $1000’s here as the array of weapons is incredible. We will be back to take on the Mini-Gun, Barratt, and the MG-42, all bucket-list weapons for me. As we were leaving the hardened military guy who runs the Range seemed especially taken with Kate’s Wall-E backpack. It was a real juxtaposition seeing harder Military vets swooning over a Disney Lounge-Fly Back Pack!
Before we jumped back into the Humvee for the ride back to the hotel, we decided to take a look around the Museum. While we were admiring the exhibits we realized the reason for the influx of people after we arrived. A corporate event had booked the Tank Drive/Crush activity.
At Battlefield you can pay to Drive a Main Battle Tank over a car, reducing it to a pitiful crushed mess. This experience costs $2.5k and is well out of our price range. But a company had paid to let its employees have a go. As we looked around the Museum the Crew was setting up the car and firing up the Tank. So we hung around and were allowed to watch the event.
It isn’t every day you get to watch a Tank roll over and destroy a car so we were pretty happy we got the chance to see this for free. We are not sure if we would have been happy to spend $2.5k on the experience though no matter how cool it was. We then hopped in our Humvee and headed back to the Strip, having some very interesting chats with our Driver. We really didn’t see eye to eye but differing Viewpoints are always enlightening.
Back at Paris, we headed to see if we could check-in, only to be told there was a $50 fee to check-in early today. Err No-thanks, so we headed out to the Beer Park to kill some time before 4 pm Check-in. While we understand the room may not be ready yet, we can usually check-in and then just wait for the room. We have never been asked for a fee before!
Anyway, the sun was shining and the Beer Park is one of our favorite Roof-Top Bars in Las Vegas.
The Bar was really busy and waits on tables were pretty long. But there was “bar” seating as long as we left before 6 pm. As it turned out Bar Seating was along the Rail, which is exactly where we wanted to sit, and we would be gone well before 6 pm. So we took our seats and enjoyed a couple of hours in the sun With some Wings, a Giant Pretzel, and some nice drinks overlooking the fountain.
Paris Las Vegas – Eifell View Room
Finally, we headed to Check-in at the allotted hour and it seemed most people had the same idea as us. The Queue was incredibly manic. We were directed to an Automated Check-in Desk which is not ideal as we can’t employ the $20 trick to back a free upgrade. But the wait looked over 30 mins to see a human!
Instead, we headed to the Auromanted desk and incurred nearly no queue at all. We found however that these terminals we no use for us as the ID scanners would not recognize our UK Driving Licenses. However, the Assistant reassured us that because we had “tried” she would fast track us to the front of the “human” queue, bypassing a long wait.
At the front of the queue, the Clerk was happy to bump us up to an Eifell View (Which also takes in the Bellagio Fountains) for a modest tip, as is often the way in Vegas.
We headed up to the room and we were in for a bit of a shock really. The last 6 nights were spent in some of Vega’s best Resorts, the Bellagio and Venitian, and we knew we were stepping down a few levels but the quality of accommodation at Paris really shocked us.
The room was ok if a little basic but the quality of appointments and finish were pretty poor. There were a lot of marks, scuffs, and missing paint. Furniture was tatty and cheap and overall the room just lacked the lustre of the last few days. In Fairness, we had paid a 3rd of the price, so this was to be expected but after the luxury, we had just enjoyed it was a comedown.
However, the next four nights would make Paris feel like Palacious splendor in comparison.
Anyway, we settled into the room and go ready for our evening on the town.
The plan for tonight was to use u some more MyVegas Rewards. We had $25 at MGM and at New York New York, along with some BOGOFs at Nine Fine Irishman and at Tom’s Urban @ New York New York.
First stop was the MGM Grand. We strolled down the strip enjoying the sights, sounds, and smells of the strip, there is a notable drop-off in class at this end of the strip. Once in the Casino we located the desk and loaded up our Freeplay.
A disappointing return of only $43 from the $25 free play but we scored a few free drinks, and then headed across the bridge to New York New York. Here we faired even worse and only managed to break even resulting in $27 of cashback. Worse still we needed to prove we were both playing to get free drinks so ended up losing a little of the profit. As you can tell we are not big gamblers!
There was further disappointment at Toms and they would ONLY let us redeem for 2x40oz beers, and Kate is not a beer drinker we were hoping they would let us have one wine or something of lesser value but that was not allowed, and as much as I like a challenge, 2 40z beers was a bit beyond me at the time.
At Nine Fine Irishman things went far better. We were seated outside, with the Las Vegas Golden Knights Playing on the Big Screen and we ordered two New York Strips (BOGOF) under the Brooklyn Bridge and Statue of liberty. Unfortunately, the Knights lost.
Overall we had a great last evening (Sort Of) and headed back to the hotel to get ready for the madness of tomorrow’s plan for the last day.
Walking Total – 9,799 Steps – 5 Miles
A pretty light day on the feet the only real walking we did was the strip walk in the evening.