October Update: 2017 September Reunion Planning Meeting Report

So.  When Tom told me about his plans to support the All Campus reunion in 2017, I’ve got to admit I had my concerns.  These reunions are great fun, but they are also a whole lot of work.  And when he told me it was going to be in Las Vegas, starting on a Sunday, and at The Orleans hotel, well, I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical.  But after attending the planning meeting and visiting the property, I get it now, and my skepticism is gone.  And here’s why.

The Reunion Planners are a great group of folks.  They too have been down the reunion planning trail several times, having between them three reunions under their belt.  Add our two experiences with the Big Sandy Reunions, and, well let’s just say we all have a lot of experience to bring to the table.

The Pasadena Reunion Lead, Bob Gerringer, and Tom have a lot in common and both of them believing staunchly that this reunion is about you, the reunion attendee, the college alumni and your family and friends. 

I was pleasantly surprised how nice The Orleans is.  WOW what amenities it has to offer, all under one roof! The Orleans is HUGE and although it is celebrating its 20th year this December, it is actively being updated from top to bottom.  The restaurants, bars. gaming and enertainment facilities all looked to be well mainained and up to date.  Most of the hotel rooms have already been updated and all of the ones blocked for our reunion have been fully remodeled.  I was impressed.

The room that we stayed in was a spacious king. with a huge closet and a tub in the bathroom (yeah!) that had clearly been updated recently.  Unfortunately it didn’t have a microwave or a refrigerator (there are some available for rent) but it did have a nice couch and a comfy chair and a fabulous view of the strip. And we received excellent friendly service from the front desk (they delivered extra hangers in a snap) and the room attendant (no knocking on our room when we were trying to sleep in, but the room was all done every time we returned from breakfast.

One of the reasons that I love this facility for our reunion is, if you want to reserve a table with a dozen of your old friends, or you want to visit privately with just one of two, there are lots of places you can go and never have to get into a car or even walk across the street.  Because …

There are 12 restaurants

  • Two “fine dining” Steakhouses: (The Prime Rib Loft and Alder and Birch Cocktails & Steak)
  • Five varied, full service, sit down “casual dining” restaurants: (Big Al’s Oyster Bar, French Market Buffett, Courtyard Cafeteria, Ondori Asian, TGI Friday’s) 
  • Five “quick bites” (Fudruckers, Subway, Sabarro, Baskin Robbins, and he Bowling Alley Snack Bar)
  • And if all you want is a caffeine or chocolate pick-me-up, try out the Coffee shop or the Chocolate Candy Store!

Another plus for this facility is that, even though it is a hotel and casino, you can find plenty of entertainment if you want without going anywhere near the casino:

  • 70-lane championship bowling center  (now … I didn’t count them so I am taking their word for it that there are 70 but I have to tell you, that bowling alley its HUGE)
    • HEY, would anyone like to host a bowling tournament?  Let me know and I’ll help you.  Big Sandy against Pasadena?  I think that could be a HOOT!
  • 18-screen movie theater with THX sound and stadium seating (I checked it out.  Some of the seats are fabulous recliners and the movies that were running were all brand new releases!  And they even have snacks and popcorn.  YUM!)
  • Spa Orleans and Fitness Center (So, if Tom goes missing, check here first!  That man loves a good back massage!)

And last but not least, The Casino.  They have 137,000 square feet of casino space including:

  • 2,600 slots, video poker and video keno machines (yep, I have to admit it, this is where you’ll find ME if I go missing)
  • All the favorite table games, including Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Pai Gow Poker, Baccarat, Let It Ride (another good place to look for Tom) and Three Card Poker
  • State-of-the-art Race and Sports Book
  • 35-table Poker Room (named “Best of Las Vegas” by readers of the Las Vegas Review-Journal),
  • 24-Hour, 60-seat Keno Lounge (perhaps my favorite because it reminds me so much of the “Old Las Vegas”)

But maybe you will enjoy it better in pictures:

(TIP: refresh the page to start the slideshow from the beginning and scroll down far enough that you can see the captions)

Tom and I have lots more news to share for the reunion.  We have two special venues planned plus a Big Sandy break-out room in the works that we would like to discuss with all of the attendees.  But there's just one catch, to keep from sending you unwanted emails, only those registered  will be included in the Big Sandy 2017 email list.  So if you plan to attend, and/or want to participate in the decisions that will finalize plans for the reunion, you need to go ahead and book your room and register for the event.  Once you do that we will add you to the reunion maillist and discussion.