89101 Travel Guide
Downtown / El Cortez / Downtown Vegas / Burgers / Eating / Dining / Deals / → All Tags
When visiting El Cortez, it’s important to remember where you are and manage your expectations. El Cortez is one of the most historic casinos in Vegas and may have been the casino that truly started the Downtown Vegas revival when it was renovated seven years ago. With all of the more recent renovations, though, the ones at El Cortez feel more vintage than they were intended. Aesthetically, El Cortez is a mid-level Downtown Vegas casino. Still, we love El Cortez.
Besides some of the best gaming odds in any Las Vegas casino, El Cortez also has some of the most random and cool casino promotions. Personally, this writer learned how to gamble at El Cortez and it holds a special place in my heart. For months, I’ve noticed that El Cortez had a $5 beer and burger special available at Cafe Cortez. With all of the new restaurants coming on board in Downtown Vegas, I've been a little too distracted to try it, but finally had the opportunity to dive in recently.
It wasn't that long ago that we were remarking that we were surprised it was still open. But, now there's something even more surprising to report about the King's Ransom Elvis exhibit at Binion's. It's now free.
After opening in August after a series of Vegas delays, the downtown "museum" had been charging folks $10 admission in order to see "personal treasures" of the King, from clothing and jewelry to the last car he ever purchased. But, a few days ago, the attraction announced that entry will now be complimentary to its Facebook fans:
VegasChatter Reviews / Downtown Grand / Lady Luck / Name Changes / Renovations / Openings / Downtown Vegas / Downtown / → All Tags
In part one of our review of Downtown Grand, we spent four nights in a 450 square-foot corner "Premium" room on the top floor of the Casino Tower. Now it's time for a review of the property's more 'basic' offering, the 350 square-foot "Deluxe" room. And, spoiler, we definitely had a preference between the two.
After this writer took an overnight excursion to Primm, it was back to Downtown Grand for another two nights. This time, I’d booked through Hotels.com for a nightly rate of $37 plus tax and an $11 nightly "Grand Experience" fee. I had no delusions that I’d be getting a premium room once again. Even a tight Mr. Olympia tee and a bit of flirting with the familiar desk agent didn’t help get an upgrade from deluxe. Darn! I mean "yay, my review is now a two-fer!"
Once on the eighth floor, it was deja vu again, but this time for a different reason. The carpeting in this corridor looked very familiar.
The Fremont Street Experience is rocking' a new Viva Vision show: The Who: Miles Over Vegas. Which, when read too quickly, had us imagining the legendary trumpet of Mr. Miles Davis reigning over Fremont. Which then got us thinking about the activity this lady linked to a cool Miles Davis. Which then had us mourning the fact that Chris Farley never got to perform the role he was born to play. Anyway.. err.. Who were we talking about? Ah, you see what we did there in the end, don't ya now?
It’s not even winter, but we received the first sign that spring is around the corner!
Big League Weekend will return to Las Vegas in March for the 30th year. Big League Weekend happens annually when the Chicago Cubs take a break from MLB spring training in Arizona. Next year's games will take place March 15-16 at Cashman Field which is home to the Las Vegas 51s.
VegasChatter Reviews / Downtown / Downtown Vegas / Downtown Grand / Lady Luck / Hotel Rooms / Resort Fees / Renovations / Openings / Name Changes / → All Tags
Remember the old Certs commercial? “It’s two (click) two (click) two mints in one!” Here at VegasChatter, we’re going retro and doing the Certs version of Downtown Grand room reviews. Two opinions from back-to-back stays (with a one-night break in-between to recharge our objectivity). And, just like that breath mint, the former Lady Luck is now as fresh as a mountain spring and as yummy as the tastiest candy. But, is that enough to lure people away from the beer-and-onion breath (if you will) of Fremont Street? Let’s take a peek behind those guestroom doors and find out. First, a review of the hotel-casino's Premium rooms. Tomorrow, we'll check out the Grand's Deluxe guestrooms.
We’ve been spending a lot of time at the Downtown Grand, both in person and by way of our site. If you’ve been reading our updates, you’d think we haven’t yet stayed. That’s not the case. We've actually spent a lot more time there than we'd planned to, especially this particular writer thanks to an unpleasant flu/cold/fever thing that kept me in bed for much of my stay. And, when you’re feeling miserable, you’re especially aware of your surroundings, no? Thank goodness the first four nights of my visit were in a 450 square foot corner Premium Room on the top floor of the Casino Tower. (Cue the deja vu music to remind you of my review of the corner petite jacuzzi suite at Eastside Cannery just a few weeks ago.)
I’d like to think it was my dazzling smile and always irresistible Brut 33 splash that got this writer moving on up from a bottom-tier room to a dee-luxe corner room in the sky. (Hey, it’s worked before.. maybe..) But, more than likely it was the fact I’d received a special media rate for a VegasChatter meet-up and they were hoping to make a good impression. After a slight delay coupled with a pleasant and unexpected greeting by the VP of Operations, my reservation agent escorted me to a elevator banks where I was whisked to the top floor of the Casino Tower (room 1802, to be precise).
Starting tomorrow, Wednesday, November 20, Las Vegas and The Center will host Trans Pride Week, marking the first time ever such an event has been held in Nevada.
Trans Pride Week will consist of five days of events and activities designed to bring awareness of and build pride in the local transgender community, including a Trans Pride March (set for November 20 at 7 p.m.) and vigil (November 22 at 7 p.m.). Several talks will also promote awareness and empowerment. You can see a complete list of what's happening here. Most events start, or take place entirely, at The Center (shown above), which serves the LGBT community in Southern Nevada.
Gambling / Video Poker / Downtown / Main Street Station / The California / Las Vegas Club / Downtown Vegas / Plaza / The D Hotel / Golden Gate / El Cortez / Golden Nugget / Fremont / Four Queens / Downtown Grand / La Bayou / Mermaids / → All Tags
Last week, we reported that Downtown Grand lowered its video poker pay tables shortly after they opened. Nobody was happy to see this reduction so quickly, but Downtown Grand's video poker only went from bad to worse. Most people concerned with playing good video poker games wouldn't have played the better option at Downtown Grand, anyway.
The reaction to Downtown Grand's video poker pay tables led us to check out how other downtown casinos compare. According to vpFREE2, there are plenty of good video poker games to be found downtown. Here's a list of the best games in each casino with percentage of return. They're broken down only by the best game(s) offered. Click on each game listed to find details on how many of those games are in that casino, where they are located, and what other good video poker games are available.
Drinking / Downtown Grand / Beer / Art Bar / Furnace Bar / Mob Bar / Pizza Rock / Bars / Vegas Observations / → All Tags
Downtown Grand celebrated its official grand opening yesterday. But, with a soft opening on October 27, we've already spent a lot of time there.
Depending on your game, the odds in the casino are hit (blackjack) or miss (video poker) so we decided to take our excitement to the bars. Every bar at Downtown Grand is beautiful and feels very comfortable. However, this beer drinker had a few chuckles with the offerings available at Art Bar (shown above) and the newly relocated Mob Bar. Here’s the bottled beer menu from Art Bar
as viewed through beer goggles:
Vegas Dilemmas / Four Queens / Football / Cocktails / Beer / Craft Beer / Downtown Vegas / Downtown / Dining / Eating / Fremont Street / Restaurants / → All Tags
We love the free drinks that are so readily available throughout Vegas casinos. Sometimes, we won’t even be playing and will still be offered our favorite beverage by a cocktail sever who knows us too well. The downside to all the freebies comes when we step away from the tables and are reminded that, in the real world, pouring from the tap comes with a tab.
In Vegas casino restaurants, this situation can be especially frustrating. While on the gaming floor, we can drink ourselves silly for next to nothing. Once we step into a restaurant, often just feet away from the nearest slot machine, the comps end and the pricey brews begin. The easy solution, of course, would be to bring in free drinks from the casino floor. The restaurants typically see us coming from miles away, however, and make us finish or trash them prior to entering. A few will let it slide, but most (especially chain restaurants) are strict about their no-outside-drinks policies. We’ve tried every trick in the book to get out of paying for cocktails and will even dash out mid-meal to quickly down a glass if we see our server making her rounds.
VegasChatter Reviews / Comedy Shows / Broadway Rat Pack / Groupon / Downtown Vegas / Downtown / Four Queens / Phat Pack / Rat Pack / → All Tags
Mix one part Rat Pack Is Back, two parts drunken karaoke, an equal amount of community theater and a scoopful of moldy cheese. Sprinkle with some of your annoying uncle’s bad jokes. Then, dump the whole concoction onto a stage. What do you get? Why, The Broadway Rat Pack at Four Queens, of course.
When we first heard about the opening of “The Broadway Rat Pack” in downtown’s Canyon Club our initial reaction was…. why? Did Vegas really need another “Pack” show? Wasn’t the Rat Pack Is Back at Rio still going strong? Wasn’t downtown's Plaza about to lower the curtain on their own Phat Pack which had replaced Rat Pack Is Back in the same showroom? Hadn't Sandy Hackett’s Rat Pack already closed in multiple Vegas venues before finally hitting the road? What could this version offer to justify its existence? And, why was “Broadway” in the title? Unfortunately, those queries were about to be answered with another. “Why did we ever ask?”
Downtown Grand will host its grand opening tomorrow (11.12.13 at 14:15 military time), but execs are holding off on officially opening, Picnic, their rooftop pool and lounge until the spring.
Yet, when it opens, you won't even have to go to the pool to observe the scene. That's because Downtown Grand will be offering a live pool cam through guestroom TVs.
We found this "channel" while we were looking for
TLC's "Say Yes to The Dress" a serious news station. Alas, because the pool is not open, the pool deck camera wasn't turned on. But, when spring comes, we can't wait to see how guests will use this feature. You can spy on your friends, scope out potential hook-ups or just assess how crowded the scene might be.