Las Vegas’s Palms Casino, Resort & Spa opened in 2001 with lots of fanfare and publicity. It was originally owned by the Maloof family, and was primarily overseen by George Maloof. The Palms opened on November 15, 2001, with Station Casinos and The Greenspun Corporation as minority owners. It included a casino, restaurants, nightclubs, and a 42-story hotel. It has made several television appearances, and was the main setting for the 2002 reality television show The Real World: Las Vegas. Expanding on the theme that celebrated celebrity-hood, a second tower was built and opened in 2005 that included a Playboy Club and a recording studio. In 2007, the casino opened the Pearl Concert Theater and 2008 saw the opening of the Palms Place, a high-rise condo hotel.
Like many hotel properties, The Palms suffered financial difficulties in the Great Recession and was sold to the Texas Pacific Group and Leonard Green & Partners in 2011. In 2012 the owners undertook a $50 million renovation, but were unable to restore the property to the young-hip-vibe that it was seeking. Red Rock Resorts, the parent company of Station Casinos, purchased the Palms for $312.5 million in 2016 and they too, launched a major renovation of approximately $620 million, adding new restaurants, nightclubs and other features. Unfortunately, all of this renovation failed to bring back the glory days of the early Palms Hotel property.
The newly renovated establishment had hardly gotten on its feet when Covid hit. The Palms closed and again was sold. On April 27, 2022, the Palms Casino, Resort & Spa re-opened under the ownership of the San Manuel Gaming and Hospitality Authority, making the Palms the only casino in Nevada to be wholly owned by an Indian nation, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians from California.
OK, so these are the facts. You ask how is the experience at the Palms today? My gentleman friend and I visited the Palms twice in recent weeks. (The Palms is on Flamingo, across from the Gold Coast Hotel & Casino, so is slightly off the Strip.) We loved both visits; we couldn’t have been treated better by staff members. Parking is free at the Palms, but the outside lots were full both times we visited so we parked in the multi-layer parking structure.
For all the cars we saw, we didn’t see too many folks in the casino, but we saw loads of folks waiting in line for the AYCE. (All You Can Eat) buffet.
We checked out all the public areas at the Palms and ran into two surprises.
When we visited the Brenden Theaters (14 movie theaters) we hadn’t realized so much artwork had been commissioned during the Covid shutdown. The walls of the long hallways and the theater lobbies were covered with art colorfully done by local artists and, I’m told, some LA artists as well. Movie characters and artwork that used every color in the palette was floor to ceiling. Yes, a lovely guide told us the appeal was to a younger crowd, but we old folks enjoyed it as well. In fact, we recommend locals and visitors check out the Palms Brenden Theaters just to be overwhelmed by the art.
Our other good time at the Palms was being invited into the VIP lounge occupying a space that eventually may be a new restaurant. The VIP Lounge is for high rollers and we really didn’t qualify. However, because on a Sunday might the VIP Lounge was empty, we were invited in “just because.” The space was lovely as were the hors d’oeuvres. We could have ordered alcohol as well, but we are diet soda and water folks. We enjoyed a short sit-down with the hors d’oeuvres and a brief visit to the Palms pool area. The staff in the VIP lounge couldn’t have been nicer.
I took videos during my visit, so if you want to visit the Palms in May 2022…..enjoy the video.