Sunday, February 8, 2009

Pass on the Wild Horses, next time

We are at the Wild Horse Pass casino,
near Chandler, Arizona (map).

This is our third stay here. The first time was a rousing success, wherein we received $15 in cash and a wristwatch, and landed two prime rib buffet dinners for $13. The second time, on a holiday weekend, we drove away in disgust after a single night because RV parking had gotten, well, out of hand. This time, we spotted a similar conglomeration of RVs in the north lot, and came over here instead, to the designated large vehicle parking, and stayed with the trucks.

Our night here in the parking lot was pleasant enough, and you can't complain about free (although -- like Joe Walsh -- sometimes I still do, if the blog is any indicator). Inside the casino, it was a different story. Remembering discounts on food for having a players' card, we first stopped at the promotions desk, to see if our cards were still valid -- they were bright yellow, and all of the cards we saw other people carrying were some other color. That's when the trouble began.

Immediately, they told us that, no, the cards had expired, and we'd have to fill the complete application out and start again. That's fine, but, in hindsight, we should simply have walked up as new visitors and started from scratch -- at least we might have gotten the $5 sign-up promotion for our trouble. Since we walked up with old cards, they would not give us the promo. Fine, we were not expecting it anyway.

Next, however, we both got grief because our Washington driver licenses are expired. Now, we have extensions, and we have paper letters from the state of Washington extending our driving privileges for another year (available to you if you happen to be out of state when your license expires, which we were). And, of course, any law enforcement officer who stops us and calls our license numbers in will get a valid license back, since they are valid in the state's database. But these idiots at the promo desk would not accept the licenses as valid identification. "We can't accept it on paper" -- yet we pointed out that the ID portion, with our photos, was not paper, it was a state-issued card. Harumph.

Louise just handed them her passport (why she had that in her purse is a mystery to me), while I argued with them for another three minutes until a supervisor came over and approved it. All this for $2 off at the buffet. Louise had something of a Pyrrhic victory inasmuch as it was much more work for the promo clerk to deal with the passport than a driver license. To top it all off, there were no 2-for-1 buffet coupons this time.

Lastly, the restaurant no longer offers an a-la-carte menu (or, at least, not on Saturday), and so we had no choice other than the buffet. At least that was acceptable, although nothing to write home about. (Home gets spared; you, our blog readers, however, get pummeled with it, apparently.) I suppose, in the end, it is fair for the tribe to sell us dinner for $30 (and another $10 for the wine) since we are in their parking lot, and likely will be for another night.

The reason we came here, actually, is that it is the closest parking option to the next scooter that Louise will be looking at later today, in Chandler. The one we looked at yesterday in Tucson was somewhat less expensive, and, when we saw it, we learned why: it had been dropped during an MSF class and had a good deal of scraping on one side, from some previous owner. Louise had decided she could live with the scrapes, and the seller had accepted our offer on it, but when she produced the title, we learned that she had never titled it to herself -- the title in her possession was from the previous owner and had been signed several months ago.

This was a deal-breaker for us. It's difficult enough for us to deal with titling and registering these scooters in Washington long-distance (we have to find a notary, then overnight the paperwork to Washington along with a check for the sales and use tax) when all the paperwork is in order. We can imagine having all sorts of trouble with a months-old title from someone we've never met, and no matching bill-of-sale from that person. At a bare minimum, there is a penalty for "late registration" back to when the title is dated, plus we'd have to pay the back registration fees.

So we thanked them, but told them we'd have to pass. Although we left the door open, by saying that we can call Washington on Monday to see what could be done. The seller has since emailed, offering to offset the sales price by whatever our penalties would be.

We are keeping that option open as a back-up, but today we will look at a bike that is a year newer, has fewer miles, and, as far as we know, no damage. The asking price is higher, but the market is soft, so we will see if we can make a deal. If the weather is decent (it's been raining on and off all morning), we will ride over there on my scooter, and we'll end up right back here for tonight.

Photo by Jo Naylor

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