The Hard Rock Hotel is known for its concert venue and its raucous pool party. But what does it have for an old geezer local who doesn’t like rock concerts any more, has his own pool, and for that matter wouldn’t enjoy hanging around a bunch of partying twenty-somethings anyway? The answer is, plenty. Last week on my LLV blog, I reviewed the Las Vegas Comedy Show, which plays across the street (more or less) from the Hard Rock Hotel. I mentioned dinner at the Hard Rock, in fact. This week, I thought it would be a good segue to give one local’s opinion of that Venerable institution.
The Hard Rock Hotel sits on the corner of Harmon and Paradise Road, closer to UNLV than the Strip. It has recently expanded, in fact, with a larger concert venue (The Joint) and improved parking for employees. Okay, unless you work there, you don’t care about that, except that it opened up more parking in the older garage for patrons.
I first patronized the Hard Rock while Tami and I were staying down the street in the Fairfield (now Wyndam) Grand Desert Resort. Tami was in town to take the bar exam. I had a couple of interviews for jobs. In the morning, after Tami went off to testing, I would walk over to the Hard Rock and play penny video poker. They’d bring me free coffee. Yes, I can be bought, and I’m cheap. But, it isn’t just the coffee that makes me like the casino.
There is the good music, too, of course, but really, my warm feelings for the Hard Rock casino stem from the fact that I’m won more money from the house than the house has won from me. I played five dollar blackjack on a day when the dealer seemed determined to deal me aces. With two aces, the odds are that you’re about to win something. (You split them, or play two hands with an ace each, in case you’ve never played the game.) The short story is that, unlike many a tourist, I quit while I was up about seventy dollars, and so I remain to this day. I played a bit of video poker today, full pay, which you can tell from the pay schedule if you’re familiar with such things, and the music was still top notch, the sound quality even better, and I did okay, for video poker. No royal flushes, more’s the pity.
Mr. Lucky’s is a diner style restaurant adjacent to the casino. You can get diner food of all sorts, including an every day $7.99 steak special. It’s loud in Mr. Lucky’s, but the food is good enough that it is a popular lunch stop for Las Vegas professionals working nearby. I have never been disappointed by the food at Mr. Lucky’s, and the prices are reasonable. Mr. Lucky’s gets pretty busy at lunch time, but if you can schedule your visit at an odd sort of hour, you’ll be able to enjoy the place without waiting for a seat.
A pit boss was really happy to hear that I was a local. The Hard Rock would love to draw in more locals business. I do believe that, take it all around, they probably deserve it. Why not try it out yourself? The music’s good, the food’s tasty, and they have full pay video poker. That does sound like a local’s casino, doesn’t it?