Grandissimo was the name of a hotel and casino that Jay Sarno, founder of Caesars Palace and Circus Circus, was thinking about when he retired. The dream never came to fruition and was over after he passed away in 1984.
Gambling Invest’s domain monitoring service uncovered that at the end of July, The D Las Vegas casino became the new owner of several “grandissimo” domains, including grandissimo.net, grandissimovegas.com and grandissimolv.com.
…The whois details of the three domain names were updated in July this year when The D Las Vegas casino replaced Dickinson Wright as the listed owners, but Gambling Invest believes that the Michigan law firm had registered the domains on behalf of Derek and Greg Stevens, the Detroit brothers who control The D and that in January 2014, Dickinson Wright helped obtain a trademark for Grandissimo in relation to restaurant, hotel and entertainment services.
Old Vegas became Downtown Vegas over the past few years because of a myriad of changes to the area. There have been a lot of additions to the area but the places I care most about are the casinos. Many of the Downton Vegas casinos have been renovated over the past few years. Some renovations are better than others. Here are my favorite Downtown Vegas casino renovations.
1. the D – The D casino used to be Fitzgeralds but a complete overhaul of the property last year turned it into something entirely new and awesome. I know I’ve been inside The Fitz but I have no memory of it. The D has two very contrasting floors of its casino. The first floor is incredibly energetic (and loud) with great craps and good 3:2 blackjack. The loud music gives beats that the Go-Go dancers in between table games can dance to. Upstairs has a more mellow vibe with slower music and more machine games. This is where you’ll find Sigma Derby, old video poker and slot machines. It’s a fun contrast and easily one of my favorite places downtown. Photo: Yelp
2. El Cortez – El Cortez was the first casino to renovate and the renovations almost seem old compared to the other casinos in downtown Vegas. The renovations being a little older than the other downtown Vegas casinos allows El Cortez to easily have the most real vintage feel. Besides having great gaming rules (3:2 blackjack, 10x odds craps) rules and cheap gaming ($5 blackjack, $3 craps) they give away free ice cream and free pie periodically. I love El Cortez. Photo: AllVegasPoker.com
3. Golden Gate – Golden Gate is the oldest downtown Vegas hotel and last year’s renovations go a long way to keep that vibe. The renovations were all done to a roarin 20’s theme. The casino is very small and can be claustrophobic to some but that coziness brings great energy to the tables. Golden Gate has the same owners as the D so much of the gaming is the same. The main difference is that the video poker here is not very good and some of the blackjack games use a Continuous Shuffle Machine (I hate CSM!). Most of the dealers at night are also G0-Go dancers. That doesn’t hurt. This is probably my favorite downtown Vegas casino to play craps (ironically, no go-go dancers are craps dealers). Photo: Priceline
Honorable Mention. Gold Spike – Gold Spike is a tiny casino off Fremont Street. The casino is made up of 4 blackjack tables. That’s it (I think). Gold Spike is fairly useless with the exception of $5 sexy blackjack. $5 sexy blackjack isn’t really sexy but it’s fun. Gold Spike is more of a change of pace than anything else. Drink service is super quick since it’s small and never busy.
Other: The Plaza – This is my least favorite of the renovated casinos downtown. There is just no vibe at all here. It’s clean, big and new but that’s about it. Odds are if I’m at this end of Fremont Street I’m probably across the street rolling dice or eating pancakes at DuPar’s inside the Golden Gate.
I’ve been asked why I talking about downtown so much. There are a lot of reasons, but a few are good gambling, cheap food and drink and it’s relaxed atmosphere.
I like going downtown for a day/night to do some low brow eating, drinking and gambling. Nothing fancy is happening and I probably didn’t shower. You know, so I fit in. I don’t always want to gamble this way, but when I do these are the casinos I frequent downtown.
The Golden Gate casino is the oldest casino in Vegas and was recently renovated and while the casino floor is more cramped then most in Vegas, it’s decor is warm and it feels clean and is comfortable. It doesn’t hurt that the dealers are also go-go dancers, many of which aren’t ugly. The dealers are also the dancers and many of them are featured on the chips. On my last visit I was playing blackjack and noticed I kept losing when a specific dealer was on top of my chip stack. After telling the dealer to get rid of all chips with that girl she revealed that the girl on the chip was her best friend in the casino. We laughed, we both made money because doubled my buy in and I tip when I win. A good time was had by all.
Golden Gate is also home to DuPar’s Bakery and home of the best pancakes I’ve ever had. The drawn butter helps. A lot. A short stack is $6 and these make for a perfect late night snack. Just stay away from the coffee. It’s awful.
All of these reasons, make the Golden Gate one of my favorite casinos downtown.