On Nov. 11, at 11:11 p.m., Aliante Station Casino and Hotel opened its doors to the public for the first time. It is Station Casinos’ 11th property, the sister-station to Red Rock Casino, and it is being billed as a “locals’ resort.” Built within the master-planned community of Aliante, it brings a relatively new area of North Las Vegas to life. The $662 million building offers 202 hotel rooms and suites, six restaurants, a 16-screen movie theater, including an IMAX screen, a 700-person concert showroom, a business center and a variety of other entertainment options including a high-limit poker room.
My early bedtime kept me from attending the casino’s grand opening celebration. I did, however, visit the following afternoon. The first thing I noticed when I pulled up was how busy it was. Cars were wrapped all the way around the drive, their drivers waiting patiently for their turn to park. The number of people arriving told me that North Las Vegas residents were excited to see the newest neighborhood addition.
The “new” North Las Vegas is still being built, and it lacks what the rest of Las Vegas already has: a wide range of restaurants, nightlife and entertainment. Aliante Station brings all these things to one location, 20 miles from the Las Vegas Strip. The property has a restaurant to please every taste from Mexican food at Camacho’s Cantina to steaks and seafood at MRKT (pronounced “market”) Sea & Land. Breakfast lovers will enjoy The Original Pancake House, and burgers and beer are favorites at the neighborhood hangout, T.G.I. Friday’s. For night owls, a bar in the center of the casino is easy to find and gives off a clublike atmosphere with beautiful bartenders, bottle service and lots of loud music to dance to.
Each restaurant has its own distinct personality. Look for the 2,700-tequila-bottle chandelier at Camacho’s and the floor-to-ceiling wine rack at MRKT Sea & Land. As a resident of North Las Vegas, and a person who loves to dine out, I’m excited to have such a variety of attractive places to eat that are only a short drive away. I am also excited about the affordable prices and local-friendly atmosphere. Aliante is smaller and less luxurious than its sister-station Red Rock and consequently more “down home” in its appeal. I spent some time in the casino area and at the card tables and, from the people I spoke with, there seemed to be an even mix of local residents and visiting tourists.
The Regal Cinema is another reason I’ll visit Aliante Station. Every theater is equipped with stadium seating, and the IMAX screen is the first of its kind in North Las Vegas. Adjacent to the theater entrance is a small arcade to occupy kids who don’t like to stand in line for tickets. To tempt the hungry moviegoer, a food court offers an assortment of fast-food spots like Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop, Panda Express, Rubio’s Mexican Grill and Johnny Rockets. A neighborhood favorite, Dunkin’ Donuts, is there to satisfy a sweet-tooth craving.
I was disappointed to learn that Aliante does not have a Kids Quest program as many of the other Stations do. Kids Quest offers in-house childcare and activities for children while their parents enjoy the casino’s entertainment. My kids have a blast every time they go to the Kids Quest at Red Rock, and I feel good about leaving them there while I play blackjack or see an R-rated movie. If Aliante is serious about being a locals’ resort, they’d do well to provide for the locals’ offspring!
For those who want an extended stay, Aliante’s hotel rooms (with rates starting as low as $49) feature the most up-to-date amenities including flat-screen TVs, iPod connections, Internet access and 24-hour room service. The hotel lobby smells marvelously of fresh flowers, and is modern and simply decorated to reflect the warm colors of the Nevada desert outside. The hotel’s refreshing, but small, pool is quietly set away from the hustle and bustle of the casino; it offers lines of bright-orange lounge chairs surrounded by palm trees, as well as private cabanas that include refrigerators and flat-screen TVs for guests wanting more privacy. A cluster of hot tubs is tucked near the back of the pool.
Congratulations to Aliante Station for a successful grand opening. Whether for a quick visit or a weeklong vacation, it’s sure to please both visitors and locals alike. I know I’m looking forward spending lots of time there.