I was bored last week so I decided to spend a day and night in Downtown Vegas mostly on Fremont Street. Surprisingly, I didn’t gamble much but I had a great time anyway. I’ll be sharing highlights throughout the week.
One of the highlights last week was outside on Fremont Street when I walked into and out of The D. There was a two person band on the 3rd street stage called Bridge. Bridge are two dudes playing hard rock and heavy metal classics on cello.
Bridge isn’t new to Vegas. You may have seen them performing on the Vegas Strip or on Fremont Street at some point in the past couple years. On this mellow Thursday night I caught them performing for tips on the big stage playing songs from Guns N Roses, Metallica and AC/DC.
If you’re an older metalhead you’ll get a kick out of their show. I’m not quite a metalhead but I knew every song they played. There’s definitely some skill here.
You can see a 25 minute set below (there’s much more on the YouTube) and learn more about Bridge on Facebook. If you see the guys in person and like what you here drop ’em a couple bucks for the good times.
Today’s WWDC conferenceannouncements have me pretty stoked on the future of my Apple devices. I think the new Apple desktop and mobile operating systems will change how we use our mobile devices. With that in mind I wanted to being awareness to my favorite mobile travel accessory that comes in very handy before and after going out for a day/night in Vegas.
The cable I’m currently using is 10 feet long. Ten feet may be a bit excessive but it doesn’t take up much more space than the 6 footer I used with my old iPhoneand it costs the same amount of money ($7). I’m online at all times and need easy access to my mobile chargers. The extended cables allow me to charge my iPhone and/or iPad while I’m using them.
Unfortunately many of the older hotel rooms in Vegas (think Downtown Vegas) still have outlets that aren’t comfortably accessible. I can always plug in a charger but the small wire that comes with the devices often isn’t long enough for me to charge and use my phone or tablet. Thankfully many upgraded hotel rooms are adding lamps with outlets or charging stations.
My second most valuable travel accessory would be a Mophie Juice Pack charger case pack for my iPhone but I use that every day. Having a charging case that allows me a 100% full charge on the go is amazing. Both products help keep me juiced and connected for just about an entire day on the Vegas Strip.
I never heard of “Best Night Ever” but Netflix told me that I should watch it, so I did. I was having a lazy Sunday and looking for something light n fluffy to pass the time and “Best Night Ever” fit the bill. I don’t make it through many Netflix recommendations so it was a surprise that I made it through “Best Night Ever”. Here’s the synopsis of the movie from IMDB:
Claire is about to get married and she goes to Las Vegas with her sister and two friends for her bachelorette party. Things quickly spiral out of control.
Okay, how bad can watching a movie about a bachelorette party in Vegas be? If there was a lot of “woo girl” this could have become painful. Thankfully there wasn’t.
There’s all kinds of Vegas eye candy with scenery from the Vegas Strip to Downtown Vegas. It’s too bad it looks like half of the movie was filmed on a lot at a generic movie studio. The bachelorette party ends up in a fun or awkward situation every 10 minutes or so which keeps things moving.
At times it feels like “Best Night Ever” is a dark comedy while other times it feels like it’s probably just a bad movie. When all is said and done the female “Hangover” is good enough to watch when you don’t feel like sitting through another 2 hour Netflix snoozefest. If nothing else there’s Vegas…VEGAS!
You can buy or rent on Amazon or watch on Netflix. See the SFW trailer below (See the much better NSFW trailer here):
I had a couple of hours until my next appointment so I figured that there’s no better way to kill time than to drink good beer on the cheap. Well drinks are $3 for the 3-5-7 Happy Hour and food is either $3, $5 or $7. The real winner here is the beer drinker.
All draft beer is the $5. This discounts some of their already great priced micro brews even further. Take a look at the menu which is missing some of the rotating seasonal or micro batch beers that rotate.
The prices for the smaller brews are fair at all times of the day but a $5 Delirium Tremens is fantastic. Not only won’t you find Delirium Tremens at many bars but you won’t find it for the regular $7 price and you definitely won’t find it for $5.
The beer above was something from the Lips of Faith series from New Belgium brewery. It was super sour and something I wouldn’t have tried unless it was $5. I’ve never had a beer like that so I’m glad that I tried it. It’s one of the draft beers that was on rotation at the time, so it may not be on draft when you visit.
I point out Delirium Tremens because it’s one of my favorite beers but there are plenty of great beer options at Pizza Rock. If you’re hungry you can have an excellent meal and beer for $10. That’s pretty, pretty good.
You can find cheaper drinks and food in Downtown Vegas but you won’t find prices that match the quality of beer and food you’ll get at Pizza Rock during happy hour. This is a great excuse to get out of the casinos for a little while and get some fresh air.
Note, Pizza Rock also has Craft Happy Hour from 10pm-2am that I always seem to forget about.
Summer in Vegas is awesome. Fun by the pool (or in the air conditioning) during the day and free concerts in Downtown Vegas under the Fremont Street Experience at night! Fremont Street Experience announced the first batch of free concerts this week. There are 3 shows missing that I’ll fill in as they’re announced. Hopefully they’ll fill in with more mediocre 70’s-80’s-90’s rock. I say this with love.
The shows are always packed so I tend to avoid Downtown Vegas on nights when there are bands that were popular playing. That said chances are good that I’ll make it for Soul Asylum so I can relive my college DJ years.
May 24 — Karmin, 1st Street Stage
June 14 — 3 Doors Down, 3rd Street Stage
July 4 — Papa Roach, POD, Lit, 3rd Street Stage
July 18 — Summerland Tour 2014: Everclear, Soul Asylum, Eve 6 and Space Hog, 1st Street Stage
August 9 — Seether, 1st Street Stage
August 15 — Deep Purple, 3rd Street Stage
August 30 —Fuel, Filter, Local H, 1st Street Stage
Earlier today I went over the odds for craps at all of the Downtown Vegas casinos and mentioned that the best odds don’t always make the best games. Everyone has their preferences in casinos and games. The 3 casinos below are probably my favorite downtown casinos in part because they have my favorite craps games.
Golden Gate has 10x odds which is appealing to me but I think I’d still love playing craps at Golden Gate even if they had lower odds. The casino is intimate. It’s small, tight and there’s not a lot of space to move around. The ceiling is low so that you can almost touch it. That confined feeling and dance music makes the energy in the casino intense. The energy at the Golden Gate craps games has nowhere to go and it is unmatched by any casino. The combination of energy and odds make this my favorite Downtown Vegas craps game.
It’s out of character for me but I love everything about the El Cortez. In general El Cortez is the antithesis of everything I like in a casino. It’s old, dirty and I love it. Many of the craps players at El Cortez are crotchety old men. It feels as though they all play the Don’t Pass line. El Cortez doesn’t sound awesome does it?
El Cortez isn’t for everyone but is the first casino that I visited in Downtown Vegasand I have a huge soft spot for gambling here. The 10x odds in craps and great blackjack game (See Vegas Chatter article for details) keep me coming back. El Cortez was one of the first Downtown Vegas casinos to renovate but that was over 20 years ago now. This is vintage Vegas at its best.
The party vibe, dancing-girls and loud dance music on the first floor of The D casino makes me want to craps. If I’m gambling on the first floor of The D then you’ll probably find me rolling dice. The 10x odds are nice but not necessary for a good time. FWIW, if I’m upstairs you can find me at the end of the View Bar near the sportsbook playing 8/5 Bonus (with multiple progressives) Video Poker while keeping an eye on a game.
Craps is my favorite game in the casino. Besides being fun to play, craps gives the casino one of the smallest house edge’s of most casino games. Fun game and small house edge?! Sounds good to me!
You can actually decrease the, already small, house edge by playing greater odds. The higher the odds played the less the house edge. Today I want to look at the craps odds available in Downtown Vegas casinos. Since the higher odds decrease the casino’s advantage I list casinos from the best odds to worst odds.
Even the worst odds in craps give the casino a smaller house edge than most games in the casino. Most people don’t like to max out their odds when playing craps because it’s too much action. I try to max my odds wherever I play. Minimum pass line bets in these casinos is usually only $5 so full odds isn’t too expensive.
The best craps odds don’t make the best games. I’ll get into my favorite Downtown Vegas craps games later. For more information check out Wizard of Vegas craps survey.
Understanding that, you can see why we are spending more of our effort and money on nongaming, on theaters, showrooms, hotel remodels, upgrades and public environments like these open spaces. That’s what consumers are asking for. It’s why we are doing festivals.
This weekend’s Foodie Festival was incredible. Rock in Rio coming to Circus Circus … iHeartRadio is another. These environments are so popular. We’re gaining so much market share hosting these types of events. We know that we can take this model even farther.
If you’ve been following previous incarnations of this blog you’re aware of many of the changes to the Vegas Strip and Downtown Vegas. Many of the changes are great but most don’t include gambling (yet). That’s not the Vegas I’ve come to love but it’s what we have. That’s what new customers want. That’s what new customers get.
Onward and upward, I say! There’s still plenty of awesome in Vegas and I find something new every day.
The zipline that shoots out of a two-story slot machine in Downtown Vegas may look hokey and clog traffic on Fremont Street but the design takes me back to a time when I found Vegas. It will always hold a special place in my heart because of that. That said I’ll never ride it. Ever.
Heights and I don’t get along. In fact, I’m such a wuss about heights that I couldn’t make it through this entire point of view video of the zipline ride. If you’re not height adverse and looking for a random fun thing to do in Vegas, check this out! What I saw looks cool.
I’ve been to Green Valley Ranch once in 3 years. It’s a nice casino but there’s nothing there that’s worth going out of my way for. GVR is owned by Station Casinos and I live down the street from their flagship property, Red Rock Resort. I already have the best Station Casinos has to offer just down the street.
There’s rarely a reason for me to visit the other side of the Vegas Strip. Adding two pizza joints and a Keno lounge won’t change that. The Downtown Vegas location of Pizza Rock is a much more convenient location for me and I will return soon. If you like GVR here are the details on the $20 million renovation.
Station Casinos LLC will invest $20 million over the next year in Green Valley Ranch Resort by introducing a new lineup of four acclaimed restaurant and bar concepts, as well as enhancing other venues and amenities within the AAA Four Diamond award-winning property in Henderson. New concepts include Mercadito, Tippling Hall, Pizza Rock and Tony’s Slice House.
The news comes on the heels of Station Casinos recent announcement that its other luxury resort, Red Rock Resort, will undergo a $35 million investment, bringing a total of $55 million in capital improvements and new offerings to both resorts.
Highlights of the $20 million reinvestment include: