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Happy Trails
by Candice Bettridge
Sunday, August 10, 2008

I love traveling. I really, truly do. Everytime I go to a place I've been before, I enjoy staying at a different hotel.

I have been to Atlantic City, NJ many times. I have gone with friends as well as family; sometimes both at the same time. Regardless of where we stay, we always find ourselves in Bally's Wild Wild West Hotel and Casino, located right on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. The entire Bally's complex, which consists of Wild Wild West and Park Place, is located between Sands and Cesar's Palace. It's a terrific location, because it's right in the middle of things. It's not too far to walk to the end of the Boardwalk to go to ShowBoat or the opposite direction to get to Tropicana.

Bally's is one of the casino/hotels on the Boardwalk that has a parking garage. If you are a member of the Bally's MVP Club, parking for any span of time is merely $1. If not, It will cost you at least $3. (Sorry, but I don't know the price for non-members.) The parking garage has an elevator that brings you to the sky bridge to get to the casino and hotel registration.

As soon as you get off of the moving walkway, you come to a choice of two paths. Park Place is to your left and Wild Wild West is to your right. To your right and down the stairs is the casino. The hotel registration, however, is located on the way into Park Place. At this large desk, you can register the one hotel, Bally's that hosts the two different casinos. Registration is simple, as long as you have your confirmation number and photo ID ready. Otherwise, be prepared for a major attitude. This has happened to me twice when registering. Believe me, I learned my lesson and am prepared when I get to the front of the line!

The rooms are pretty good, but aren't themed like the Wild Wild West. The hotel is for both of the Bally's casinos there. You've got the choice of one king or two queen beds and a smoking or non-smoking room. You will have a view of the beach or of the city. Be sure to ask for a higher room-- That way, you've got a nicer view. The rooms also have a bathtub and shower, vanity table and mirror, television with cable, small sitting area, built-in hair dryer and a mini-bar that you have to pay for.

The Wild Wild West casino is my favorite in Atlantic City. The theme is just terrific. It looks as though you're playing under the evening sky in the wild West. There are saloon scenes everywhere. Even when you walk in from the Boardwalk entrance, there is a scene with a man and his donkey panning for gold. All of these scenes are done anamatronically. It's really neat. Oh, and there's a thunderstorm in the gold scene where the sky gets dark and it actually rains.

Park Place, on the other hand, is just your average casino. It's one of the older ones in Atlantic City. There isn't anything special about it. Both casinos have slots ranging from a nickle to $100. There are also plenty of table games, card games, and free drinks. The ATM is located right in front of the Park Place entrance from the hotel.

The restaurants there are not much to brag about. If you're looking for an informal lunch, I highly recommend Pickles, located on the way into Park Place from the Boardwalk entrance. The reuben sandwich is to die for. The buffet isn't so hot-- Take the walk to Sands Epic Buffet. (Ooh, now I'm getting hungry.)

Even if I'm not staying at Bally's, I like to park my car there and walk. It's in such a great location and the security is top notch. I prefer to park my car in a parking garage than in the open air parking offered by casino resorts such as Claridge.

Be sure to sign up for the MVP Club while you're there. You'll receive a lot of terrific offers in the mail, including free hotel stays. It's one of the better players' clubs that I belong to. And, of course, it's free and easy to join.

When in Atlantic City, be sure to stop by Bally's. You certainly won't be disappointed. And since the room rates are so inexpensive (about $40 a night), you might just want to stay there!

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