Classic Vegas, Baby!
Had you been wondering where I’d disappeared to? The answer is Las Vegas, baby!
Each year, at the beginning of spring, before Easter and after the Spring Break, I take a small vacation – two or three days. I gather up my meager savings, pack my bags and head out to Sin City and one of my favorite downtown hotels.
This year I invited friend, Jamie to accompany me and share the experience at the Downtown Grand – once the Lucky Lady Hotel and Casino, this modern hipster destination is just a block off Fremont Street. I must say, there is nothing like staying in a newly built hotel – everything is so shiny! Parking is a little tricky, there is only one way to access the front of the hotel and valet parking off Steward but we figured it out – self parking is off Ogden across from the hotel/casino.
There is something very charming about the Downtown experience – it is classic, neon lit Vegas, unlike the posh over priced mega-casinos littering the Vegas Strip. There are at least 10 casinos within a small two block radius – easy to reach – you get tired of one, bounce to another. The Best Diner in Nevada is located there – Dupar’s, where the orange juice is squeezed as you watch and a large Shrimp Cocktail cost a mere $2.99. The slots are looser than the strip and there is free entertainment around every corner – D.J’s, bands and strangely costumed local performers that pander for your tips along with legitimate local artisans and vendors.
Speaking of artists – there is a growing Arts District adjacent to Fremont Street. Had we another day to spend I would have loved to venture through it. There is also a Mob Museum and less than a mile north of Fremont Street is the Neon Museum and Las Vegas Natural History Museum, all three of which I plan on visiting during my next adventure there.
Yikes! Am I sounding like an advertisement?
Getting back to the real experience – I was very impressed with how much improvement had been done to the area surrounding Fremont Street and at the same time disturbed by the amount of homeless and panhandlers that were evident along the walks. Also, for the first time I noted a marked difference between those on the streets from Thursday night to Friday night – Friday being a bit seedier crowd. However I was really pleased to see that more small restaurants had filled some of the spaces at the lower end of Fremont street – Mexican, Mediterranean and Asian eateries for cheep, quick and casual dining. For a special dining treat I recommend Hugo’s Cellar, located in The Four Queens. Dress nice, bring your appetite and be prepared for a treat – make reservations and plan to spend $100.00 + per couple – it is worth it.
Last, no Vegas trip is complete without taking in a show. Rock Of Ages at the Venetian was AWESOME! Full of great tunes from the 80’s with fantastic and memorable performances by John Robert Hall as Stacee Jaxx and Matt Meigs as Franz. No wonder they can pack the theater every night. Save yourself some money and get show tickets half off at Tix4Tonight located in The Four Queens – if you’re a theater snob and required front row seats order on-line. Tix4Tonight also has restaurant/buffet deals available – check them out on-line.
Let me see, did I cover everything? Not even possible 😉
Until tomorrow, Write On!
~ K. L. Parry