Downtown Vegas Is Taking Me Away From Casinos And I Don’t Like It

Outside Of The Fremont Street Experience Downtown Las Vegas
Outside Of The Fremont Street Experience

It’s funny, gamblers always say that the Vegas Strip can learn something about keeping gamblers in their casino by offering better odds like Downtown Vegas casinos. I think it may be the other way around. Maybe the Downtown Vegas casinos need to improve their bars and restaurants like their counterparts on the Vegas Strip to keep gamblers like me happy.

A couple of weeks ago I spent a day and night in Downtown Vegas. I stayed at the Fremont Hotel because they always offer low room rates and no resort fee. My hotel room for the night was $32 after taxes. Not bad.

I went into this day away with no plan. My solo trips to Downtown Vegas have always been similar to someone going on a bender. I’d eat, drink and gamble way too much for a 24 hour period. This time my night in Downtown Vegas was different. I had a great time but it was a different kind of great time.

If you read this blog last week you saw daily updates of where I spent my time in Downtown Vegas.

  • I had a beer and chicken parm sliders for dinner at Triple George.
  • I grabbed a few beers and had some fun conversation at Nacho Daddy.
  • I had a flight of beer and then some at Banger Brewing.

Wow, I drank a lot of beer. There’s one thing missing from my night in Downtown Vegas. I hardly spent time in a casino and I barely gambled! This is very unlike me and I reflected on this on my drive back home to the burbs.

The casinos on the Vegas Strip are re-inventing themselves with new restaurantsbars and clubs to keep you on their property. My visits to the Vegas Strip haven’t changed. New restaurants and bars draw me to casinos on the Vegas Strip where I’ll inevitably end up gambling a little.

Eat, Drink, Gamble in one place – that’s my kind of fun. Let’s go back to Downtown Vegas.

Most of the new bars and restaurants are outside of the Downtown Vegas casinos. When I’m eating a great burger and drinking great beer at Pizza Rock there isn’t anything that says that I must go back out to the casino and gamble. The casinos in Downtown Vegas feel as though they’re becoming less relevant to me. They’re out of sight while I’m having fun eating and drinking and that puts them on the back burner.

Besides Andiamo Steakhouse at The D and Du-Pars at Golden Gate there really isn’t a restaurant destination inside of a Downtown Vegas casino that I feel like I ever need to visit. On the flip side every bar and restaurant I visited on my last trip to Downtown Vegas will be visited again.

As Downtown Vegas continues to re-invent itself the casinos may need to take note from the Golden Nugget and refresh their restaurants and bars every couple of years to keep old customers like me and attract new customers.

Many of my favorite casinos to gamble are in Downtown Vegas so it’s not like I’ll be avoiding the casinos there but I will certainly spend less money in those casinos when there are better bars and restaurants a short walk away.

It’s funny, gamblers always say that the Vegas Strip can learn something about keeping gamblers in their casino by offering better odds like Downtown Vegas. I think it may be the other way around. Maybe the Downtown Vegas casinos need to improve their bars and restaurants like their counterparts on the Vegas Strip to keep gamblers like me happy.

Uh Oh, “The Whiskey Apocalypse Is Coming”

Whiskey And Dice
Whiskey And Dice

I’d been looking for a sipping drink for when I gamble for a couple of years. In December I took a week to experiment with the different brown boozes. I was on the Vegas Strip and sampled a variety of bourbon, whiskey and scotch. I did a lot of taste testing on casino comps while I gambled (see Vegas Chatter post) but paid for some top shelf liquor that was recommended and only available at bars and restaurants.

The combination of drinking on casino comps and cash was an economically efficient way to try something I wasn’t sure I’d like. Over the week-long experiment I found that I really like Macallan. Macallan has become my go to brown booze to sip on when I’m gambling. I’ve been sucked into the brown booze world and now keep a bottle at home at all times.

With that in mind, I had a little freak out when I saw the headline “The U.S. is on the Brink of a Whiskey Crisis“. Say whaaaaa?! It’s kind of my fault. With so many people trying whiskey and brown booze for the first time the demand is high and supply can’t even come close to matching it.

Despite the increase in distillation over the past few years, bourbon demand still outpaces supply. The overall bourbon category is experiencing 5% growth, but premium brands are up nearly 20% from last year… The increase in sales, coupled with the aging process and evaporation loss, leads to a shortage with no end in sight.

Furthermore, as distilleries increase output the quality of the whiskey goes down. This happens with most industries but as it pertains to whiskey this may lead to shortages and hefty price increases.  This is a serious problem and it seems as though it won’t be corrected any time soon.

As it relates to Vegas casinos you can expect quality of whiskey offered as comps to decrease. I won’t be surprised if Planet Hollywood no longer comps Macallan (12) by the time I visit again. I’ll have to look for some less expensive alternatives to sip on when I’m in the casino.

Feel free to shoot over any recommendations. I’m always keeping an eye on alternatives. 

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