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Feb '24 Flight + Southwest Hotels Trip Report: Hotel Apache, Westgate and Tropicana (SAN-LAS)

Aviator C

Greetings Community Southwest:




As advertised in the What's in store for '24? thread, I took my combined Business and Personal Trip to Vegas last week. I had originally booked a three night stay at a downtown historic landmark, the Hotel Apache on Fremont Street through Southwest Hotels.


That was all set and ready to go until separate arrangements were made for me in regards to my second night's stay where I was placed at the Westgate Resorts hotel through the tradeshow that I was attending and there was no getting out of it. Long story short, I ended up staying at not one but two hotels for this three night trip. In addition, I took a little walkthrough of the Tropicana Hotel. Most of us are now aware that this old historic resort destination will soon be gone as the A's Baseball stadium is coming to Vegas.



I booked the Southwest flight from SAN-LAS during a local sale a few months prior to the trip and locked in the sale rate each way but with a catch. For the outbound trip, all of the morning flights were not included in the sale but the evening flights were. Thus, I booked the evening flight with the intent of executing a Same-Day Flight Change on the day of the departure to a morning flight through my A-List benefit at no difference in fare.


One Important Tip: This money-saving method is not a guarantee should the earlier flight nears or reaches capacity. That meant I had a back up plan in place at my origin airport in case I had to wait until the evening flight. However, the morning flights had open seats available when I checked at midnight of the day of the outbound flight.




Outbound Flight:
Plane: 737-8H4, N8557Q
91% Full, On Time
Preboards: 7

Shortly after takeoff, the plane flew into some thick clouds and the outside featured a white backdrop for quite a while...from just before the ten thousand foot mark going into the cruising altitude.



The plane later descended to a lower cruise level just before we got to Barstow and we finally got out of the clouds and saw the sandbox below.



Pictured above, we crossed the CA/NV state border over the Sky Ranch area.



Passing by the skyline during final descent.



A Public Transit RTC Bus Route ferried me to the Las Vegas Convention Center for my official business. My first day of work there involved setting up for the big show that kicked off for the next few days. Also purchased a monorail pass partially because:


Even a small sandwich can get very pricy at LVCC.


And it looks like the lines for the outside vendors stretched all the way to MCO... Okay... maybe not that far, but...

SoCalFlyer97 however did locate the secret 'Priority Express' Lane: That was a short monorail ride over to the next food court:



Zero lines, much better pricing, and more filling options. No A-List required.

Travel Tip: Got business at LVCC? I would buy monorail pass at the discounted online rate and ride it to a resort hotel destination with a food court that would provide much better lunch options. In my case, the Horseshoe/Bally's Hotel food court.


Off to the inn...I took another RTC bus over to downtown. As I mentioned, the Hotel Apache that is located above the Binion's casino is rich in history. Some even claim it's haunted:




First Hotel: Apache, Downtown Las Vegas
Room Type: Standard Queen Room (Freely Upgraded to Double Queen Room at Check-In)
Rapid Rewards Points Plus: 1k
SW Hotels/RocketMiles Three-Day Total after Taxes: $150
No Resort Fee


Competing Booking Site Rates:
Other 3rd Party Lowest Price per Trivago: Same as SW Hotels
Direct: $166; Booking Direct nets a Funbook 

1k CP-Eligible RR Points: Excellent Tradeoff


I had no problems checking in. In fact, being a small hotel, no lines to check in and this is Vegas. Staff located the SW Hotels reservation quickly. No resort Because the rates were so low, I elected to keep the original reservation for the three nights even though the second night of my trip will be at the Westgate. 


I got to my room:




Now for the big question: Anonymous sources say this hotel is haunted. Look at the signage posted in the hallways. Is the Apache Haunted?








Did ghosts pay a visit to my room?




The elevator?




Spoiler Alert: No haunts for SoCalFlyer97.


Nothing in my room got moved. No unusual sounds. Everything worked AOK. The elevator did what it's supposed to. So-called "voices" that I heard were simply from downstairs in the casino. In my opinion, no happy haunts invaded my stay. And for the amount I paid for three nights during a convention, that is an unbeatable rate. One tip that is a must: I would strongly suggest to White Noise the room with the in-room fan or via a cell phone when going to bed to muffle out the music coming from Fremont Street. Review forthcoming on TripAdvisor.




Second Hotel: Westgate Resorts
Room Type: Signature Room (Freely Upgraded to Studio Suite at Check-In)
Resort Fee: $45.34 / night
Room Rate Paid: Not Known (arranged through the tradeshow through my work)


Incidentals deposit was $50. Surprisingly enough, I arrived about an hour after the posted check in time and there was no line to check in at the desk. Nice. Too bad I was not able to book this room with Southwest Hotels; this property has been known to return some very generous Rapid Reward points offers. Can't complain though...I found out they gave me a free upgrade to a Studio Suite once I got to the room.




Third Hotel: Tropicana




Okay...I didn't stay at the Tropicana (two hotels for one trip was plenty) but I went through some of the public areas of this historic resort and captured some of its unique features including its stained glass ceiling, guest elevators, and a fairly new temporary LavAzza coffee shop that recently replaced the Starbucks Coffee there. Pretty soon, this entire resort will be in the history books, replaced by a new A's baseball stadium. Enjoy:

















Return Flight:
Plane: 737-8H4, N8520Q
63% Full, On Time
Preboards: 4



Got one last glimpse of the Tropicana for this trip aboard the plane. I've got one more trip to LAS before this place shuts down later this spring. I'll see if I can get some more pics of the public areas.



For this route, the plane normally flies over the 15 freeway across the state border and then heads south toward the Salton Sea area. This time, it made a minor detour east and followed Highway 95 for a little while before turning west to its original route (I'm assuming to dodge turbulence). Passing into Sloan Canyon with Lake Mead in the background.



This finale never gets old for SoCalFlyer97.

SAN New T1 Construction Updates








SAN's new T1 is starting to look more like a real airport.


Prior Trip Reports:


More Info on the SAN-LAS Flight Route:


Safe Travels,