Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Vegas events and cell phones

Just heard on the radio that Ricki Martin is coming back to Vegas to perform. I wouldn’t go to the concert, but I like his songs. The Stones are coming back in March (sold out a long time ago) and Elton John is due in February to take his turn at Caesar’s when Dion takes her break. Almost anybody that tours hits Vegas for at least one show.

The Castaways casino hotel was just imploded this morning (Wednesday). That's a little off-strip, but it was just a block from my daughter's old house. The property is owned by the MGM Grand Corporation, and evidently they don't have plans yet for the property. Must be nice to have so much you can afford to just create an empty lot and sit on it.

The Boardwalk on the Strip closed yesterday. It’s to be knocked down for the MGM CityScape expansion. Just announced that the Stardust will also come down. That property will become another small city project, over four billion dollars ($4,000,000,000) to be spent, with four hotels totaling 5,300 rooms, condos, shopping, convention space, several casinos and pools and dozens of restaurants and shows. Since the rooms will not all be in one hotel the Stardust replacement will not make it to the ‘most number of rooms’ list.

Jane is talking about her cell service just granting her 23 minutes a month extra access. What kind of cell services are ‘standard’ in your area? We use the Verizon Family Share plan. We’ve got three cell phones, myself, B and daughter. We get 500 minutes a month to share between the three phones, plus unlimited calls between the three of us, no matter where we are in the country (if there is Verizon service in each area). So when we drive down to Prescott, which has service, we can call our daughter if she is in Vegas up in Seattle as much as we like with no extra charges. This costs us about $90 per month, with taxes and fees. We can add extra minutes, but since we’ve never used over 300 that isn’t an issue. Extra phones on the same plan are $9.90 each per month, sharing our minutes but free calls within the group.

My daughter thought it was funny when we gave her a phone, she could see no reason to have one. When we came up from San Diego looking for a house we got a Vegas cell phone, so our real estate agent could call us on a local number. It still worked in San Diego, but with long distance charges. (we already had two phones in SD). When we moved up here we changed the Vegas account to a family share, and moved our two phones here, giving the new one to our daughter. She never thought she would have a reason for a cell phone, but we liked the idea of her having one, if she worked late at school or something. So now, almost three years later, when we get the monthly bill it lists all calls per phone. I usually am down for twelve or thirteen minutes, B is down for about the same, and our daughter is usually around 250 or 300 minutes. This from somebody that didn’t see any reason to get a cell phone.

Our sons in San Francisco each have their own cell phones. Neither of them have a phone in the house, they only use the cell phones. We have two phone lines in the house, one for calls and one for a fax machine I use with customers. We also have high speed internet access on our TV cable system. Boy, talking about it, I’ve never felt so connected.

Note: San Diego is about three hundred miles away, a five hour drive. San Francisco is about 580 miles, ten hours drive time. We’ve been back to SD a few times, but nobody there we really want to see. Our sons have driven here from SF, but we haven’t driven out there yet from here.

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