Downtown Grand: Dynamite Location and a Bright New Look
Sunday, January 5, 2014
Several weeks ago, newspapers in Las Vegas featured a photo of hotel/casino owner Steve Wynn playing craps at the newly renovated Downtown Grand Las Vegas. Wynn was a special guest at the casino/hotel’s grand opening because Seth Schorr, CEO of Fifth Street Gaming, the company running the rennovated hotel/casino, was a friend who once worked for Wynn as did Schorr’s father.
Early reviews of the Downtown Grand, in the location formerly occupied by the Lady Luck Hotel & Casino, have been mixed. Some $100 million has been invested by the CIM Group to turn the property from an eyesore into a symbol of the “new downtown”. Many early visitors have loved the place; others had problems with restaurant service and long valet waits. I went to look for myself or rather, my friend Dorothy and I went to look last week. I brought a video camera, of course.
The location of the Downtown Grand is great, and I thought the modern appeal of the decor was lovely…not up to Steve Wynn lush standards, but nice nonetheless. The fact that I won $30 for 30 minutes of slot play at the Downtown Grand Casino helped its image as well.
We didn’t stay overnight at the Downtown Grand and we didn’t try the restaurants, so my report is only part of the story. The things that were slight problems to us were that accessing free slot play seemed impossible without help (I never did get my $3 bonus for getting a players card); the wait for our car to be returned from valet was, indeed, far longer than it should have been, and we also had a considerable wait when we wanted to see two of the rooms. At the time, the one woman manning the reception desk had lots of folks wanting her attention, so we just had to wait until she was able to get to us…and she did apologize.
By the way, I looked at the job openings at the Downtown Grand website. As of last Friday, 25 jobs were available — everything from Front Services Coordinator to VP of Sales and Marketing. The newness of the operation, plus the jobs that haven’t been filled, should allow for some frustrations, I suppose. Even the US government has glitches on new projects, right?
The casino is bright and full of brand new machines. The pros report that the poker machines don’t have the best payoffs, but the penny slots are dazzling. The restrooms are nice, and the intimate sports book will be a boon to those folks who don’t want to fight for position on the Strip. Yes, downtown in general is slower and friendlier than the Strip and that appears to be the case at Downtown Grand Las Vegas as well.
About prices: Expedia says a Deluxe room (two queens or one king and a 40-inch flat screen TV) in January, 2014 would be $55.20 per night plus an $11 resort fee.