The Bear Growls: The demise of downtown Las Vegas
March 2, 2006
I used to enjoy downtown Las Vegas, but not any more. I haven’t played there in quite awhile, and have no plans to go back in the foreseeable future. I used to send visiting tourists downtown because they could get more value for their money. Not any more. I can’t recommend it to anyone anymore.
The Golden Nugget is being “Stationized.” Yes, the Nugget has chased off many players in the last few months, skilled and unskilled alike. It will soon have only some red chippers and low-denomination slot players left. The corporation that now owns it is headed by a member of the notorious Fertitta family of Station Casinos infamy. Its new double deck paying 6 to 5 is an insult, but is indicative of Station influence. Station has several ridiculous double-deck Superfun games.
Golden Nugget is being turned into just another cheap downtown grind joint. Its current management seems to be afraid of their own shadows. Even its carnival games have been slowed to a crawl, thereby reducing casino profits, because of inept management..
Binion’s, despite early post-Harrah’s optimism, has been a disappointment as well. It, too, apparently now wants to drive off anyone betting more than a few red chips. Idiotic bet spread rules have turned “good casino customers” into ex-customers of Binion’s. Most of the other downtown casinos, because of their extreme sweat, bad rules and/or bad employee attitudes, have already lost all but the very low-end business. It is truly sad to see.
Wake up, downtown casino owners, before it’s too late. A clean sweep is needed of the incompetent management teams presently in place at most of the stores. Bring in some folks who are not afraid of customers who play more than a few red chips. Offer some decent games again, and advertise that downtown games are better than the Strip. Do something to motivate people to go downtown before it is too late. As it stands now, downtown does not deserve patronage from anyone.