Judy Kay-Wolff


Although no hotel I have seen in Vegas has better bridge playing facilities than the Riviera, we have had some zany personal experiences here.  Let’s start with the heating and air conditioning unit which is self regulating.  Suddenly it shuts off and a while later it turns back on with a sound like a tornado warning or air raid siren.   This continues all  through the day and night.   Classy!  

Oh, yes – it appears there may be a shortage of toilet paper with one roll to two customers for twenty four hours (and no reserve) – and when you leave a burned out light bulb on the table, they remove it – but don’t replace it.  I left a note and a ten dollar bill and amazing … when we returned we had three rolls of toilet paper and a torchier with a working light.

I had two dining experiences not to be believed:  I called room service and asked (instead of toast) for an English muffin and was told it was $3.95 extra   I countered it was only 35 cents more at the coffee shop to which she replied, ‘THIS IS NOT THE COFFEE SHOP.  This is ROOM SERVICE’ (BFD) … for which we waited an hour and a half the first morning – but they don’t warn you.   Then, we just learned (on our fifth day) that if you present your players card, you get a discount.   Lest I forgot, we ate at the coffee shop again today.   Bobby paid the bill and commented that our breakfast omelets though almost identical had a $2.00 discrepancy.   He learned (with no pre-alert) that egg whites separated by some brain surgeon were two bucks more than plain eggs cracked by some lackey. 

Apparently, there is new management and ownership and most of the stores are vacant (with dark panels covering the barren insides).  Looks like a huge alteration in progress. My favorite shoe store, Norman Kaplan, is history but thank heavens (not for Bobby) that the jewelry store is still in full bloom (with big advertised discounts).  The casino is practically empty though there is a new Single Deck BJ game we patronized where BJ pays 3/2, though there are other prohibitions not present in any of the other casinos (can only double down on 10 or 11), no surrender or hitting again after splitting, etc.   Times have really changed.

However, as I mentioned in the introduction to this blog, the playing space is great and the numbers, according to TC Tom Shulman were fantastic.   The section tops are adorable, many choices and plentiful sized shirts as well.  Guess good attendance and enthusiastic players is what it is really all about.    Time to get movin’!


Judy Kay-WolffJune 23rd, 2011 at 5:17 pm

P.S. Let me add to the above four false alarm fire drill testing during the knockouts.

dannyJune 23rd, 2011 at 11:01 pm

In addition to mixed feelings, isn’t Norman Kaplan a mixed name for a shoe store?!?

Judy Kay-WolffJune 24th, 2011 at 6:23 am

You got that one right, Danny! Good pickup! Hadn’t thought about it.

BURTJune 25th, 2011 at 7:19 am

Friends of mind stayed at the Riviera and reported back they were aghast there were no coffee pots in the room and that the use of a ‘safe’ is now $3.50 a day. How incongruous.

JaneJune 25th, 2011 at 8:40 am

Hi Judy,

I am sorry to see the Riv go downhill like it has. The shuttered shops and shabby environment makes what was a nice hotel back in the day look old and decrepit. I don’t object to the playing rooms, especially the pent house, but that is not enough to keep going back there. Another part of “old Vegas” may bite the dust soon, it looks like. Maybe the new management can spend the money to fix the place up, but they have quite a lot to do. The Riv could join the Sahara soon. Too bad, isn’t it?

Judy Kay-WolffJune 25th, 2011 at 11:11 am

Yes, Jane, I second your comments. I have learned some shops are remaining but others have been asked to leave (to upscale and raise the rent). I asked the jeweler for a card if he relocated, but took my emaill address instead as he is thinking of moving out of Vegas but uncertain at the moment. The help is very nice but the makeshift condition of the corridors with covered windows in the processs of remodeling is eerie. The makeup store is still open and the tatoo place is always packed. The whole scene is weird.

Enjoyed the days we played (mostly Blackjack) but am looking forward to Home Sweet Home tomorrow and back to the duplicates.

Steven GaynorJune 27th, 2011 at 9:55 am

I think it is time to try to move the tournament down the strip, like to Bally’s where there are loads of other casinos close by with lots to do and lots of places to eat. It is just too hot at this time of year to get outside much, but it is so far from the Riviera to anywhere that even the 10 minute walk to the Hilton risks heat stroke.

A note about coffee in the room. We have not found any Vegas strip property that features that except for the Wynn, but you pay dearly for that benefit there in higher room costs.

Judy Kay-WolffJune 28th, 2011 at 6:09 am


Rumor has it that your wish will come true and our unit (or district) has paid a healthy sum to break the contract with the debacling Riviera and moving to Bally’s. However, you know how rumors circulate in the bridge world – so no etched in blood guarantees .. just hopes!