Vegas for an almost rookie

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Monte Mast
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Vegas for an almost rookie

#1 Post by Monte Mast » August 22nd, 2017, 5:01 pm

I've really never spent any time in Las Vegas so now that I will have the opportunity, I don't know where to stay, what shows to see, or where to eat. I'll be there for business all day Saturday, but my wife and I will make it a long weekend and arrive late Thursday and leave early Monday. I'm not a gambler so that is not what I'm looking for. The one visit I have made, I did make a pilgrimage to Lotus of Siam. I have read through the other threads but had some additional questions. So here are my questions:

1. What hotel would you stay at to be close to where you want to be (shows/restaurants)?

2. If you could pick two shows to see, what would they be?

3. Where would you go for Sunday Brunch?

4. What two places are must eat restaurants for you?

5. Where are the best values for wine in restaurants in Vegas?

Thanks in advance for your input.
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#2 Post by Tom G l a s g o w » August 22nd, 2017, 5:59 pm

I like Estiatorio Milos for lunch in the cosmo.

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#3 Post by Pete Lawley » August 22nd, 2017, 6:04 pm

I have enjoyed the Beatles' LOVE show twice. Beatles meets Cirque de Soleil.

Fun evening, especially if you're a fan of their music at all.
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#4 Post by T. Melloni » August 22nd, 2017, 6:25 pm

Monte Mast wrote:I've really never spent any time in Las Vegas so now that I will have the opportunity, I don't know where to stay, what shows to see, or where to eat. I'll be there for business all day Saturday, but my wife and I will make it a long weekend and arrive late Thursday and leave early Monday. I'm not a gambler so that is not what I'm looking for. The one visit I have made, I did make a pilgrimage to Lotus of Siam. I have read through the other threads but had some additional questions. So here are my questions:

1. What hotel would you stay at to be close to where you want to be (shows/restaurants)?

Stayed at The Venetian and enjoyed the property. Also stayed at Aria and that is nice as well.

2. If you could pick two shows to see, what would they be?

Cirque du Soleil O.
And
Cirque do Soleil O.
Fantastic.
Would change the second choice depending upon what musical performers are in town.

3. Where would you go for Sunday Brunch?
Thomas Keller's Bouchon at the Venetian was great for brunch.
Highly recommended.

4. What two places are must eat restaurants for you?
Lots of great choices but two that come to mind are both sushi places:
Kabuto, off the strip on Spring Mountain road. Wonderful experience. Food was fantastic and service was excellent. You will need a reservation. Best sushi I have ever eaten....and that includes restaurants in NYC and elsewhere.
Kaiseki Yuzu for Kaiseki style cuisine. Food was wonderful. Service was a bit disjointed but the food was so good, it did not matter. Also, off strip. Strip mall location and funky interior but the food was excellent.
Chada Thai is alao very good but I would not place it in the "can't miss" category.
Food is good and the wine list is extensive. Service is weak.


5. Where are the best values for wine in restaurants in Vegas?

Take out in your hotel room with wine you brought from home.
Just sayin'.

Thanks in advance for your input.
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#5 Post by Ari W » August 22nd, 2017, 9:55 pm

Monte Mast wrote:I've really never spent any time in Las Vegas so now that I will have the opportunity, I don't know where to stay, what shows to see, or where to eat. I'll be there for business all day Saturday, but my wife and I will make it a long weekend and arrive late Thursday and leave early Monday. I'm not a gambler so that is not what I'm looking for. The one visit I have made, I did make a pilgrimage to Lotus of Siam. I have read through the other threads but had some additional questions. So here are my questions:

1. What hotel would you stay at to be close to where you want to be (shows/restaurants)?

Bellagio - great hotel in the middle of the strip

2. If you could pick two shows to see, what would they be?

Cirque du Soleil O (or another CDS show - Mystere, Ka, or Zumanity; wasn't a fan of Love)
La Reve

3. Where would you go for Sunday Brunch?

Sterling Brunch at Bally's - a distinctively Vegas experience - https://www.caesars.com/ballys-las-vega ... ing-brunch


4. What two places are must eat restaurants for you?

Carnevino - Riserva steaks aged ~9 months (not a typo)

Sage

5. Where are the best values for wine in restaurants in Vegas?

Carnevino allows corkage (I think it was $50) - I'm sure many other places do too

Thanks in advance for your input.
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#6 Post by JLee » August 23rd, 2017, 9:37 am

Cosmopolitan has good dining choices.

Zuma (Japanese-ish) is a reasonably good choice and had some good wine selections, including by the glass JJ Prum 15 Graacher Kab or Krug MV. I wouldn't have called the pricing reasonable but it was not exorbitant by Vegas standards.

Scarpetta also has good food. I don't recall much about the wine list.
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#7 Post by T. Melloni » August 23rd, 2017, 1:19 pm

This was a useful resource when I was deciding where to dine and BYOB.
https://www.thrillist.com/drink/las-veg ... gas-nevada
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#8 Post by Siun o'Connell » August 23rd, 2017, 5:01 pm

Fan of the Wynn here ... it feels a bit less frantic and I think they turn down the sound on the slots some so it's more relaxing to my mind. Last time I went, they offered some decent options for room upgrades and for not much a night ($10 or $20?) i had an amazing room with view. It all just felt more civilized than much of the Strip has felt to me before - depends if you want that or not. Liked their spa and loved the little outdoor patio bar with the light show in the evening.

Otherwise no advice.

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#9 Post by Barry L i p t o n » August 23rd, 2017, 5:22 pm

Beatles Love- if you ate a Beatles fan, there's nothing close
I prefer Mystere to O or La Reve

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#10 Post by Brian Gilp » August 24th, 2017, 4:23 am

We always stay at the Encore. As Siun noted the Wynn property isn't as frantic as most of the other and the Encore is even a little quieter than the Wynn.

For dining, I am still a fan of Picasso and L'atelier Joel Robuchon but neither is cheap.

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#11 Post by JoeNocera » August 24th, 2017, 5:03 pm

Best values for wine
- Hugo's cellar in the Four Queens. A great list with lots of older Bordeaux at a fair price. Great Somm
- Cut in the Palazzo always seems to have an interesting and fair list. At one point I thought the Somm there was great not sure if she still works there
- BYOB to Echo & Rig out in summerlin. Call ahead and ask about byob and they may charge a corkage but will let you. There is a total wine across the street. Will save you $100s of dollar.

Best experiences if money is no option
- love Delmonico by Emril its in the Venetian
- also love Prime in the Bellagio, call ahead and request a table by the window so you can see the bellagio fountain show from the table.

I can name some more but that should give you some options. DM me if you want more.

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#12 Post by Tom G l a s g o w » August 24th, 2017, 7:15 pm

Just don't plan on buying wine on the strip.

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#13 Post by Robert M yers » August 24th, 2017, 7:30 pm

If your not a big gambler and dont mind a louder lobby experience I like to get a room at the cosmopolitan high up with a wrap around balcony. Not much cooler than hanging over the 50th floor with a glass of champagne, watching the strip and Bellagio fountains (must be on the right side). The one time we stayed at Encore we wondered where everyone was, it's a very very nice place and also had a great view, but it's away from action/buzz so could be good/bad depending what your looking for.

Definitely use corkage, most places allow and even if it's 25-35 bucks you'll save a fortune. We have always had good meals at l'atelier. If you want to eat late check out Raku and for something different Andreas E is fun. Go have a drink at the Mandarin bar if you don't have a room with a view.

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#14 Post by Monte Mast » August 24th, 2017, 9:14 pm

Some great ideas here. I have always gotten some great tips from posting here.

I'll wait until we survive Harvey (we are in NW Houston and just saw a forecast that we'll have 20"-25" of rain between now and Tuesday night) then finalize some bookings. E by Jose Andres looks pretty amazing and the Cosmopolitan might fit the bill.

Thanks to all for their suggestions.
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#15 Post by P. Willenberg » August 25th, 2017, 6:20 am

I agree with the Cosmo rec. I try to stay at the newest hotels because they are almost always out of style the moment they open.

For wine, I highly recommend you take a Lyft to Chada Street. Very cool wine list.
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#16 Post by Paul Jaouen » August 25th, 2017, 6:29 am

E was fun and a good experience. If I recall correctly you need to book 60 days out or something like that.

I saw someone recommended Kabuto. It was good but Kame Omakase is much better.
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#17 Post by Robert M yers » August 25th, 2017, 9:17 pm

I think e does require advanced booking due to the space limitations obviously, but last time we called and told them when we would be in town and to let us know if they had a cancellation. They called at some point when we were in town with an opening, so it's worth a shot to try

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#18 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » August 26th, 2017, 9:40 am

I'm a big fan of bazaar meat, quite good and pretty decent wine list if $

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#19 Post by Jeremy Holmes » August 27th, 2017, 11:11 pm

1. What hotel would you stay at to be close to where you want to be (shows/restaurants)? I like the Bellagio.

2. If you could pick two shows to see, what would they be? Beatles Love is awesome. Not sure what the other would be but it wouldn't be those blue men.

3. Where would you go for Sunday Brunch? Bouchon

4. What two places are must eat restaurants for you? Twist and é by José Andrés

5. Where are the best values for wine in restaurants in Vegas? Lotus of Siam
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#20 Post by Joe Dulworth » August 28th, 2017, 10:18 am

JoeNocera wrote: - Cut in the Palazzo always seems to have an interesting and fair list. At one point I thought the Somm there was great not sure if she still works there
Probably Lindsey. She's moved on. Still in the area though.
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#21 Post by P. Willenberg » August 28th, 2017, 11:46 am

I mean no disrespect but when someone suggests Lotus Of Siam, I know their Vegas intel is at least 5 years old.
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#22 Post by Jeremy Holmes » August 28th, 2017, 2:01 pm

Was there in January Paul. Enjoyed it as much as 10 years prior. Only calling it as I experienced it.
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#23 Post by John Davis » August 28th, 2017, 6:47 pm

We were also at LOS in January for lunch and enjoyed it very much. We've been many times over the years. Maybe not what it was, it's changed, but it was still good and the list is still reasonable-especially for LV.

Hotels: Bellagio and Aria depending on the deal. Also like The Venetian and want to try Wynn.
Shows: Have not done a lot of show. Beatles Love a couple of times (liked it enough to return) and Penn & Teller.
Restaurants: For brunch Bouchon and Yardbird have been good in the past. For steak we like Delmonico in very large part because we are sometimes in a group and they don't have the 2 btl limit like so many places. High end places Guy Savoy and Twist. Didn't love Joel Robuchon but did love Atalier. Didn't love e by Jose, either.

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#24 Post by Jay Miller » August 29th, 2017, 7:10 am

Barry L i p t o n wrote:Beatles Love- if you ate a Beatles fan, there's nothing close
I prefer Mystere to O or La Reve
My one visit to Vegas was 20 years ago but I really liked Mystere back then.

But personally I'd go to a restaurant rather than committing cannibalism.
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#25 Post by C Wagner » August 29th, 2017, 3:41 pm

I second those calls for Cosmo. I've enjoyed my stays there and the location is ideal. However, my next trip this fall I will be staying at Wynn/Encore because their offer is too good to pass up. Can't beat 3 free nights.

Also, I second the calls for corkage. I've done this at Golden Steer a number of times with great success. I'm a sucker for the old timey Vegas feel.

As I hate to check luggage, I typically purchase ahead of time from the South Strip Total Wine (coupons abound) and just have my driver stop there on the way from the airport to the hotel. If you bought ahead you can get in and out of there in 5 minutes.

It's not the greatest of selections but last visit I was able to get a Scarecrow Mon. Etain for ~$120. Was a bit young but sure beat paying $200 for a bottle of Silver Oak. :x
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#26 Post by Blake Brown » September 2nd, 2017, 10:50 am

Here`s another vote for the Wynn/ Encore complex. IMHO, it`s got a lot of class, fine restaurants and a central location for the part of the strip I prefer. Rooms with a view [Strip and the dessert] are precious.
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#27 Post by Sc0tt F!tzger@ld » September 8th, 2017, 10:27 am

I'm heading there now, appreciate the posts. Monte, hope Houston dries out soon. I'll report back with anything interesting.

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#28 Post by brandon spears » September 8th, 2017, 11:05 am

big fan of the Wynn, least Vegas-y place on the strip. Poker room is nice also. Never go to shows as I just go to play poker and relax at the pool. Lot of good places to eat off the stip, I Mezzo in the north part of town. To be a true local, go to Blueberry Hill for breakfast.
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#29 Post by dteng » September 10th, 2017, 11:06 am

Love Mandarin Oriental hotel, quiet escape on the strip. Going back in Dec.
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#30 Post by Sc0tt F!tzger@ld » September 10th, 2017, 1:30 pm

Had a nice bottle of 2014 Massican Annia at Yardbird with fried chicken. Tasty!

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#31 Post by Bill Buitenhuys » September 13th, 2017, 8:38 am

C Wagner wrote:Also, I second the calls for corkage. I've done this at Golden Steer a number of times with great success. I'm a sucker for the old timey Vegas feel.
We did Golden Steer (for the first time) with corkage this past weekend with great success. Love the feel of the place (we sat at the Sinatra Table), excellent steaks and sides, fun tableside presentations, and very knowledgeable staff. Definitely going back.
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#32 Post by Lex S » September 13th, 2017, 10:39 am

Monte Mast wrote:
3. Where would you go for Sunday Brunch?
Last year, my wife and I went to Bellagio. Absolutely loved their brunch buffet!
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Re: Vegas for an almost rookie

#33 Post by dbailey » February 5th, 2019, 3:05 am

Any thoughts on the waldorf and 4 seasons hotels in vegas?
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Re: Vegas for an almost rookie

#34 Post by dbailey » February 5th, 2019, 3:42 am

PS is the cosmopolitan appropriate for my 2 daughters aged 12 and 13? Looks like more of a young adult club vibe? Would the bellagio be more suitable?
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#35 Post by Alan Rath » February 5th, 2019, 8:31 am

JLee wrote:
August 23rd, 2017, 9:37 am
Cosmopolitan has good dining choices.
Also a good hotel choice, since (I believe) they don't have a casino. So you're not navigating through a big casino floor to get to your room (and all the smoke that goes with that).
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#36 Post by Alan Rath » February 5th, 2019, 8:36 am

dbailey wrote:
February 5th, 2019, 3:42 am
PS is the cosmopolitan appropriate for my 2 daughters aged 12 and 13? Looks like more of a young adult club vibe? Would the bellagio be more suitable?
Bellagio is good for that age, some good food choices, the fountains outside, the conservatory which is always an interesting display of some kind, very good pool area, other art and entertainment activities.
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Re: Vegas for an almost rookie

#37 Post by dbailey » February 5th, 2019, 8:45 am

Alan,

Thanks for the responses. I’m looking at having to pay twice the price for the bellagio vs the cosmo. Is the cosmo a no no for 12/13 year olds?

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#38 Post by Alan Rath » February 5th, 2019, 11:48 am

Honestly, I don't think there is a major hotel you couldn't take 12/13 year olds. I assume they see gambling, drinking, and smoking at home already? ;) It's not the good ole' days when you could walk by an open lounge with a topless act.

I haven't actually stayed at the Cosmo myself, but my wife has, and particularly liked it because of the lack of casino/smoke.
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Re: Vegas for an almost rookie

#39 Post by dbailey » February 5th, 2019, 11:54 am

Alan,

Thanks again. My wife is getting lots of scare stories about the pools being like a strip club ie full of drunk, naked people!

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#40 Post by Alan Rath » February 5th, 2019, 12:23 pm

dbailey wrote:
February 5th, 2019, 11:54 am
Alan,

Thanks again. My wife is getting lots of scare stories about the pools being like a strip club ie full of drunk, naked people!

Dan
That can certainly happen (I haven't seen it, but my 25 year old daughter has described scenes like that, lol). When we were at Bellagio a couple years ago, there were plenty of families in the pool, it looked very tame, at least during the day. I can't vouch for the Cosmo on that front, maybe someone else can comment. But I suspect that must be in adult-only areas, Vegas is really catering a lot more to families these days.
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Re: Vegas for an almost rookie

#41 Post by John Davis » February 5th, 2019, 12:34 pm

dbailey wrote:
February 5th, 2019, 11:54 am
Alan,

Thanks again. My wife is getting lots of scare stories about the pools being like a strip club ie full of drunk, naked people!

Dan
Been to the Aria’s pool 2-3 times and it has been pretty tame. Last time there was a younger woman that thought the pool was topless. No big deal, not sure anyone ever said anything.
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Re: Vegas for an almost rookie

#42 Post by Chris.Martin » February 5th, 2019, 2:58 pm

Dan,

I think the Cosmo would be a bit much for 12/13 year olds. It's definitely a super young, trendy crowd and they indeed have a casino, tons of bars etc. I think the Bellagio and Aria are much more family friendly. Or you can try the MGM Signature which doesn't have it's own casino but is connected to MGM.

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Re: Vegas for an almost rookie

#43 Post by dbailey » February 5th, 2019, 3:12 pm

Thanks everyone - very helpful. Last thing I need to do is encourage my 12/13 year old daughters in that direction...!
Dan

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Re: Vegas for an almost rookie

#44 Post by Alan Rath » February 5th, 2019, 3:14 pm

dbailey wrote:
February 5th, 2019, 3:12 pm
Thanks everyone - very helpful. Last thing I need to do is encourage my 12/13 year old daughters in that direction...!
It's not necessarily a bad thing to let them witness some bad behavior. My daughter still remembers the young lady from a wedding party we saw, bent over puking on the sidewalk outside ;)
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Re: Vegas for an almost rookie

#45 Post by c fu » February 5th, 2019, 3:46 pm

Alan Rath wrote:
February 5th, 2019, 8:31 am
JLee wrote:
August 23rd, 2017, 9:37 am
Cosmopolitan has good dining choices.
Also a good hotel choice, since (I believe) they don't have a casino. So you're not navigating through a big casino floor to get to your room (and all the smoke that goes with that).
Cosmo has a casino. Cosmo is one of my favorite places to stay because instead of going wide, they go vertical in the hotel. So you aren't walking a ton to get to the strip. You walk out and you're immediately on the strip. The hotel room elevators are close to either exit to the hotel.

The Cosmo pool is pretty tame. It's the dayclub that's party central, but you won't even see it unless you specifically take an elevator and go past bouncers for it.

I think it's the best hotel to stay on on the strip.
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Re: Vegas for an almost rookie

#46 Post by Alan Rath » February 5th, 2019, 4:04 pm

Thanks for clarifying, Charlie. Been a few years since she was there, either they've added the casino since then, or it was out of the way so you don't have to go through it to get in and out of the hotel, as you say.
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Re: Vegas for an almost rookie

#47 Post by c fu » February 5th, 2019, 4:54 pm

Alan Rath wrote:
February 5th, 2019, 4:04 pm
Thanks for clarifying, Charlie. Been a few years since she was there, either they've added the casino since then, or it was out of the way so you don't have to go through it to get in and out of the hotel, as you say.
It was there from the beginning. You can't miss the casino. lol. It takes up the whole first floor. All they have on the first floor is the casino and elevators to rooms.
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Alan Rath
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Re: Vegas for an almost rookie

#48 Post by Alan Rath » February 5th, 2019, 5:00 pm

OK, must be another hotel nearby. But then my wife is blonde, maybe she missed it.
I'm just one lost soul, swimming in a fish bowl, year after year

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Re: Vegas for an almost rookie

#49 Post by Jud Reis » February 5th, 2019, 6:06 pm

If you want a hotel without a casino, the Mandarin Oriental is right down the strip from the Cosmopolitan and is a lovely hotel.

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Re: Vegas for an almost rookie

#50 Post by c fu » February 5th, 2019, 9:19 pm

Alan Rath wrote:
February 5th, 2019, 5:00 pm
OK, must be another hotel nearby. But then my wife is blonde, maybe she missed it.
Vidara is next door. No casino. Same as mandarin oriental. All in the same “ring”.
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