Breakfast Club

An Affiliate of the Arizona Pilots Assn



The Knife & Fork





Breakfast Club Lands in Henderson, Stays in Las Vegas




14 May 2011

by Warren McIlvoy



This was not the first time that the Breakfast Club had visited Henderson.  We were here several years ago but it is the first time that we have done an overnight in Las Vegas.  The “almost” direct route from Phoenix to Henderson included a waypoint at CRESO Intersection that is about 15 miles to the south of Henderson.  Our route would take us over the heart of the Hualipai Mountains, over the Sacramento Valley, and the Black Mountains that form the backdrop for Bullhead City.  After passing to the north of Bullhead/Laughlin, we flew over Lake Mohave and passed to the north of Searchlight, Nevada.   


After descending down below the floor of the Las Vegas Class B airspace, I called Henderson tower just before reaching CRESO Int.  By this time the wind was blowing at Henderson as we entered a right downwind for runway 19R.  The Henderson Airport is tucked into a little “notch” of the inner ring of Mc Carran’s airspace so you must maintain a relatively conservative pattern to avoid busting the neighboring airspace.  With the stiff headwind, a short landing was a given and I made the first turn-off to the ramp area in front of the Henderson terminal but the “follow me” truck had us park well to the south of the building.


In less time that it took to open the door, the ground crew was tying-down my aircraft.  I had to hold tightly to the door as we were facing “downwind” and I did not want to chase-down my door from the next parking row.  They had a fairly large van parked in front of me so it easy enough to get our gear out of the baggage compartment and stow it in the back of the van.  While stowing our gear, the driver had a cooler in the back of the van that had bottles of water under ice and we quickly got a grip on a cold one.  A couple of the other aircraft were parked in roughly the same vicinity and they brought their gear over and stowed it in the van.  Once everything was loaded, the driver drove us over to the entry of the Henderson Executive Terminal building.  We registered our aircraft with the folks at the desk and then headed for the stairs to the second floor where the restaurant was located.


The Landings Café is on the north side of a little “bridge” that is between the stairs and the elevator.  From the bridge one can look down of the first floor lobby of the terminal building.  Since there were only ten of us, we were all able to sit at a single table at the north end of the dinning area that is adjacent to the outdoor patio.  It would have been nice to sit on the patio but the wind, although sheltered a bit, would make dinning a little challenging.  The view from that patio is essentially to the north and east and from that vantage point, one can clearly see the tower at nearby McCarran Airport and the Sprint Mountains to the west of Las Vegas


After enjoying a tasty breakfast meal, it was time to move downstairs and to the west entry of the terminal building where our free shuttle van was waiting for our scheduled 1100 departure for the Las Vegas strip hotels.  Eight of us had reservations at the Platinum Hotel with Roger & Honey Whittier staying at the Paris Hotel that is nearby.  I first heard about the Platinum Hotel from a friend who is a concierge at the Boulders Resort in Carefree, Arizona.  He was in Vegas earlier in the year on business and after a brief visit, recommended it to me to be considered for then upcoming overnight trip in May.  Although the Platinum Hotel (, is located on Flamingo Blvd, it looks fairly close to the strip, it is in actuality, about ¾ of mile to the east.  The shear size of everything in that town makes everything look closer than they really are. 


We were able to get an early check-in so each of us was able to go to our rooms and then meet in the hotel lobby by 1215 for our hike to the strip (Las Vegas Blvd).  When we reached the intersection of the two streets, Greg Coomans, Austin Erwin, Rich Kupiec, and my wife and I, decided to head north to Margaritaville while the Rynearson’s opted for more exploration opportunities.  At least at this intersection, you do not actually cross the street.  There is a huge escalator system that covers the entire intersection.  At the top, you can opt to move in any directions while being one story above all the vehicle traffic.  Our entourage continued to the north and upon reaching the street level again, continued on to our destination.  Once we arrived at Margaritaville, we took several flights of stairs before we reached the rooftop level bar.  We managed to find three open stools at the bar so Jeri & I claimed two of them while Austin claimed the other and Rich and Greg stood behind us.  I was quickly convinced that Austin had been here before and he was readily recommended the “Cadillac Margarita”.  I must admit that I am not much of an expert when it comes to such things as this but, what the heck, I’ll try it once.  My wife was not so convinced and opted for a more traditional margarita.  After the boys had about two rounds with beer chasers (I only had one without the chaser), Jeri ordered a mountain of nachos.  Well, the boys could not down the nachos without another round to wash down the nachos and I again opted out of that ritual. 


Our conversation soon got around to where to have dinner that evening so we decided to explore the Forum Shops that was across the street at Caesar’s Palace.  Back at street level, there was a street level crossing just to the north of where we were so that is where we made our crossing.  Although you may now be on the other side of the street, you still have a ways to go before actually entering Caesar’s Palace.  If Caesar’s looks big on the outside, it is even more impressive on the inside.  Although every conceivable sort of gambling game is available down the middle of the mall-like layout, there are high-end shops along both sides to cater to most any taste.  As we strolled along this vast arena, we would stop-by the various restaurants and peruse the menus.  Some of the dinner prices seemed to match the size of this venue so we kept looking.  Near what I believed to be the north end of the gallery, the ceiling took on a “barrel” like shape and it was painted to look like a blue sky with a scattering of clouds.  There was a restaurant there that I had been to back in 2004 but it had a different name then but it is now called Trevi (   There was “indoor” seating as well as “outdoor” seating with the outside seating dominated by a large fountain.  The location was right and the prices had wide appeal to our exploratory group so we made reservations for a 7:00PM dinner. 


While heading back through the Forum area, the allure of the slot machines took its toll on my wife and a couple of others.  After about a half hour, I believe that she was ahead about $7 so our group moved on to explore other enrichment opportunities.  We came upon the crap tables and Greg Coomans felt the urge seek his fortune there.  We stayed a watched for a while and when we departed for the trek back to the hotel, I thing that was ahead just a tad. 


It was a good 40-minutes before we got back to our room and by then, the heat and mileage had taken its toll on both of us.  We pulled-back the bedspread and flopped-down vowing to take a cab back for the evening dinner.  An hour’s nap had our batteries recharged but a quick shower was most inviting.  After getting dressed for the evening’s activities, I did a little exploring of the hotel and some of its amenities.  On our floor near the south end of the long hallway was the entrance to the pool area and adjacent to that was a restaurant called KiloWat that served breakfast and I believe lunch.  This appeared to be the ideal place for our Sunday morning “get-a-way” breakfast.


At about 6:15 we went down to the lobby and had the doorman summon us a cab.  This is our first cab ride since we used a cab in New York City during the first year of the 1964 World’s Fair.  Little had changed other than the rates.  As usual, traffic was a bit heavy at that hour so it took a little time to get to Caesar’s but the $10 fare (including tip) was worth every penny.  We eventually met-up with the rest of our group as we arrived at Trevi for our evening dinner.  We had a leisurely meal which gave time to share in conversations and to relive the day’s activities.  This is truly one of the neat things about overnight group fly-ins.  After dinner, we strolled the Forum Shops and acted like interested shoppers and watched our eyes glaze-over after reading the price tags. 


After getting back to the “escalator intersection”, we crossed to the southwest corner that is occupied by the Bellagio Hotel to observe the water-show before crossing over to the east side of the street.  Some folks opted to try their luck again at the tables at one of the casinos but we decided that we had had enough excitement for the day and walked back to the Platinum Hotel.  On the way, we strolled through a portion of Bally’s that was on our side of the street.  The evening air was much cooler so the walk back was a bit more pleasant.  Before the group had separated, we agreed to meet at the restaurant on the 3rd floor at 0700 so that we could get an early start for the trip home. 


After a very nice breakfast at the hotel, we all met in the hotel lobby.  I had asked the desk folks if they could call a cab company that could accommodate four people per vehicle with our gear in the back.  About 10-minutes later two Ford Escorts had arrived and we loaded up gear and we were on our way back to the Henderson Airport.  With the tip, the fare was $50 divided two ways so the trip back was not too bad.  At the airport, the wind was howling out of the south right down the runway.  I would guess that we lifted-off in less than 500’ and by the time we reached the end of the runway, we were 700’ above the ground.  The trip back was fairly smooth but we had 20-30 knot winds on the nose.       


To sum up the weekend, I would say that we had a great time in Las Vegas with great accommodations at the Platinum Hotel, a great dinner at Trevi, and a fun time with the Breakfast Club gang.



The Henderson/Las Vegas Group



What’s Next?


In June, the Breakfast Club will make a visit to Mesquite, Nevada and dine at the Wolf Creek Golf Resort.  It has been a while since we were last here and the first time that we will dine at the golf resort.  In July, we make a fly-in to Kearny, Arizona.  This is another place that we have not been to in quite a while and we will eat at the West End Café for the first time.  That’s all for now but remember, fly safe.



To view photos of this fly-in event, just click on Henderson/Las Vegas Event