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Everything New Is Changing Again At The Plaza

Where: 1 Main Street [map], 89101
July 9, 2012 at 3:55 PM | by | Comments (8)

News coming out of the Plaza is so shocking you might want to be sitting down with a bag of Kleenex and heavy medication handy.

Swingers Club has gone legs up and is undergoing a retheming. For those that aren't floored or are asking themselves The Plaza had a Swingers Club? SC was the Plaza's stripper/swinger/mini-golf/dueling pianos/Elvis-themed nightclub/bar that was the brainchild of Anthony Cools. While the bar tried to play off the golf schtick, we called it an odd mix (of ideas) where the golf was more an afterthought than the main event.

Fremont Street Bars, who first spotted news of the retheming, went a step further calling the mini-golf course "half-assed" under a brand that confused Plaza clientele. Whether Plaza patrons were left confused or just didn't care, we never saw the place swaying let alone swingin'. In fact, our last couple of trips by the venue saw a lonely dude tending bar while the stripper caddies were as non-existent as paying customers. Comedy, bands, and karaoke were added to the club's weekly entertainment schedule which might have drawn a crowd during those hours, but we can only safely report on what's been seen with our own eyes.

The new joint, presumably still under the oversight of Cools, will serve up under the name of The Drink. Reader sammasseur confirms the golf and dueling pianos have already been removed. Sidenote: Is there officially a lack of originality when it comes to naming bars and restaurants these days? Sigh.

Fremont Street Bars suggests that if the.. ahem.. Drink can focus on hot waitresses and great drink specials without all the other clutter it will draw a crowd. We aren't as convinced as there are just so many better spots to get our drink on downtown. Within the Plaza alone the vibe at Oscar's, while more expensive, at least doesn't drive us to consider dodging Deuce buses.

In fact, the whole Plaza casino floor can be depressing. The half naked dealers are alright, but in our experience it's a sure bet at least one is stifling a yawn trying not to nod off right into the felt. In our humble opinion, the Swingers-Drink space would be better off converting into a gaming area and moving out in the center of the gaming area. Center Bars aren't revolutionary but they can liven up a floor atmosphere and people do like to see other people.

The Swingers Club closing reminded us that Cools has another biz inside the Plaza: the semi co-branded Exposed Salon, once the talk of a reality show pilot. We've never remembered to swing on by the salon during operating hours -- and we know it's there. We wonder how many others not only happen walk by, but actually venture in. Any readers out there that have gotten their 'do done by the women of Exposed? Tell us about your experience below or if you're embarrassed shy drop us a private line.

While we're on the topic of Plaza deathwatch (we weren't?), we haven't personally seen the Plaza's new showroom extravaganza The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, but this guy wasn't impressed and the lines we've seen going into the theater look more like packs of singles queuing up for a soup kitchen over groups or couples out for date night. Which leaves us guessing 99.9% of Whorehouse's nightly audiences are comps.

Don't get us wrong -- it's not as if we want to see the Plaza fail. We've kudo'd some improvements, raved about one restaurant that's popped up and had mixed feelings about another. But, as more changes come to the Plaza (resort fees for everyone*!), we start to get a warm Tropicanical feeling.

*Technically, Plaza's new resort fees aren't aimed at everyone. Just those who've booked after June 27. The early (reservation) bird actually does get the resort fee free worm in this case.

[Photos: VegasChatter; @hypnocools]

Comments (8)

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Kick them when they are down....

It just seems that every "improvement" has been a bit slap dash and poorly planned.  I guess a decade of no maintenance, can't be made up with a low rent redo and a smorgasbord of ideas.  Best Little Whorehouse?  I live in Texas and I haven't heard that mentioned in 20 years.  They also came out of the rebuild with an attitude that their stuff no longer stank, and seemed to want to get a replacement clientele, not additional clientele.  In the past I sent a letter of praise to a member of upper management and received a personal phone call.  With this crew I sent an old fashioned letter voicing some of my concerns, and a year later I am still waiting for a reply.  With the D, and The Grand changing the face of downtown, the Plaza is on it's deathwatch.  Also, what happened to the Cantor sports book that was scheduled to go in this past March.  Could they have got cold feet crawling into bed with this crew?  

Thanks....

....for the mention in the above article.   I was having dinner conversation at the Golden Nugget on July 4th while staying at the Plaza, and I likened their current state to a "downtown version of Tropicana's rebirth".  Interesting that you've noticed the same thing.  

Having removed themselves from the Fremont Street Experience by way of failing to pay their share of fees, the Plaza has left itself open to isolation, both commercial and physical.  I doubt it's an accident that the stage in front of the Golden Gate was erected as a physical barrier to foot traffic in their direction.

Considering the horrible current state of Las Vegas Club and the recent closure of The Western, along with the already-deteriorating physical state of the common areas and guest rooms within the Plaza, I have to wonder if some big shake-up isn't ahead.

Some stuff went right......

I spent some time there last week.  Swingers was quite dead, at least early when I walked by, and while the casino certainly looked better than before the redo, the crowd wasn't overwhelming.  However, I ate at Hash House a GoGo, which is as good as the hype, and had a decent crowd.  Pop-up Pizza had a big line which mostly seemed to be the local lunch crowd.  People were lined up at Island Susshi.  The McDonalds and the taco place had lines as well.

I just don't understand why they chose to redo everything else but skip over spiffing up the sportsbook, which is bigger and could be better than anything downtown.

I was afraid of this...

Pumping money into restaurants, bars and themes and then shutting them after a few months is not going to help anyone.
I have to laugh when I think of the folks on a travel site (T.A.)who went after me when I expressed my doubts about the "new" Plaza. These same people are the ones complaining now about how they don't have blankets or soap and how dirty the elevators and parking areas are at the Plaza. If a hotel can't get those things right after a year, they are in trouble.
So, nah-nah-a-boo-boo. Go back to staying at the IP.

I could see this Coming

The management is just horrible. I started staying at the Plaza when Jackie Gaughan still owned the place and loved it. They really made you feel like a valued customer.

Fast Forward to the current makeover. I had really high hopes for the place since I think the place can be a grand place if done right. I stayed there with my family and paid for the room even though I'd always been comped there (and other places as well). I have never felt less welcome at a hotel or casino than I felt there. It was everything, it just seemed like no one, especially management, gave a sh*t whether we were there or not.

So, I stay at the El Cortez, Jackie's old joint. I also play at the Golden Gate a lot because they actually seem glad to have players in their casino.

By the Way

Adding a $10 "resort fee" is incredibly stupid. The Plaza is not the Wynn. The people who stay at the Plaza are not going to like getting hit with an extra $10 at check in. There may be fist fights at the front desk. The folks who stay at the Wynn wouldn't notice an extra $10, they will at the Plaza. No one else Downtown does this, why does the Plaza think this will go over well? They just continue to drive people away.

Coming soon.....

...... a train station?

<a href="http://www.vegasxtrain.com/las-vegas-station.html">http://www.vegasxtrain.com/las-vegas-station.html</a>

Haircut

I got my hair cut at Exposed by a woman named Rogue.  Very nice people and a job well done.  It is a little bit on the pricey side, but I happened to be there when they were doing $10 haircuts for charity.  Lots of skin, and skin is in.

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