The Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino ~ Las Vegas!

The Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino ~ Las Vegas!

Those who have visited Las Vegas in the past will surely remember the landmark Lady Luck Casino Resort in downtown Las Vegas.  The Lady Luck was in dire need of renovation and the building was shuttered a few years ago.  A change of ownership, new investors and an interesting rebranding campaign ended up steering Lady Luck in a new direction that would keep up with the times.  The old Lady Luck casino buildings were recently completely gutted and rebuilt as new.  The Lady Luck building size made it a perfect candidate for a modern boutique casino resort theme.  What was once an aging casino of the past is now a trendsetting boutique resort that is very much en vogue!     

A grand opening night at major casino resort in Las Vegas usually involves dealing with an endless sea of people.  The big crowd trying to get through the doors all at one time can be like an old west cattle stampede.  The employees have to really maintain a good image during a grand opening, because it can be a chaotic nerve racking event.  The waiting lines are long and any promotional items that are up for grabs are swarmed upon by thousands of visitors like bears on honey.

Many casinos heavily promote a grand opening night by advertising the event months ahead of time.  With the increased advertising exposure, comes heavy pressure for a resort to perform well beyond guest expectations.  The first impression that a casino makes on patrons can be the longest lasting memory that a potential customer takes home. Accumulating no criticism and receiving nothing but praise on grand opening night is the goal of every new major casino resort.  This is not an easy goal to accomplish, but is has been done many times in Las Vegas. 

The Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino is one of the newest casino resorts in Las Vegas.  The Downtown Grand had a soft grand opening on October 27, 2013.  The soft grand opening was not heavily advertised.  In fact very few people knew that the doors of this casino were open. The way that I found out about this event was by looking at a sign hanging in the window at the casino while strolling around downtown.  I wrote the opening date down, because I wanted to see how a modern boutique casino conducted business on opening day.

The soft grand opening was a smart move on the part of the Downtown Grand management, because this low key style of opening the business did fit in with the posh boutique resort theme. There was no overwhelming sea of people to deal with on opening night at the Downtown Grand and this was nice to see.  There was a feeling of comfort and the pace was casual, which also fit in with the boutique theme.  There were no endless waiting lines for any kind of service at the resort.  There was plenty of open seating at every restaurant.  I actually started feeling like I was an invited guest that was part of a pre-opening day trial run. Obviously the management intended to establish the comfortable relaxed atmosphere of this casino right from the start.

Boutique hotel casinos are a unique modern resort trend.  Instead of being a major mega resort that literally covers square miles of ground, a boutique resorts is designed to comfortably satisfy customers on a smaller scale.  Instead of feeling like it is necessary to hire a taxi, just to get from one end of a gigantic casino resort to the other, customers at a boutique casino can comfortably navigate the floorspace with little effort. 

The boutique hotel casino goal is to provide customer friendly service and comfort, instead of focusing only on high occupancy ratios and strict efficiency.  The goal is to provide a quaint intimate guest experience that spells comfort with class. The Downtown Grand is definitely one of the most comfortable classy boutique casino resorts that I have ever experienced! 

Just like with the old Lady Luck, many of the street level businesses on the resort property are part of the Downtown Grand complex.  Instead of packing all of the restaurants and shops inside the main building, many of the resort restaurants are located across the street.  Some of the historic old Las Vegas restaurant names were retained by the resort, like the old landmark Triple George Grill.

The Mob Bar at the Downtown Grand is located directly across the street from the Las Vegas Mob Museum.  At night, the outside of the Mob Bar has the look of a local South Philly or New York mobster hangout.  All this place needs is 1930s style big goons with Tommy Guns standing outside to add a sense of realism.  The Mob Bar really has the look of a classy old school mob joint!

There are casual restaurants, a pizzeria and a craft beer brewhouse located on the Downtown Grand street level grounds.  Even the old biker nightlife hotspot, Hogs & Heifers Saloon, fits into the overall picture.  Hogs & Heifers is owned by a separate business entity and it seems like the new resort respects this old Las Vegas biker saloon as a friendly business neighbor.  This friendly business relationship is an odd one by standards, but it is actually pretty cool!

Every restaurant menu that I viewed at the Downtown Grand seemed to offer a combination of creative modern comfort food and classic comfort food of the past.  The menus offered reasonable mid range prices, which have been common during the years of the Great Recession. As the economy improves, I am sure that the cuisine will change with the times.

The Spread Deli looked like the best choice for a late evening casual dining destination.  The Spread Deli is located inside the Downtown Grand, right next to the sports and race book.  Both the deli and sports book have a retro 1930s gangster era kind of atmosphere and look. In keeping with the theme, I ordered “The Mob Club!” The Mob Club is a modern Italian version of a classic club sandwich, which definitely hit the spot! The Spread Deli is a good destination for those who seek a comfortable bite to eat, especially while watching a ball game in an old fashioned sports & race book! 

The difference between the old Lady Luck and the new Downtown Grand is like comparing day and night! The plush furnishings combined with the clean looks of modern decor throughout the public areas remind guests that there is no rush and no hurry. In this way, the Downtown Grand is a world apart from the other casinos in the Fremont Street area. Recommending the Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino is easy to do, because the casual pace of this stylish new boutique casino resort is so easy to like!


Author: wildwestdestinations

I worked as a chef in remote resorts and National Parks, which provided the time to explore western travel destinations. I have a BA Degree in Culinary Management with high honors and currently I am working on a Masters Degree in Adult Education. My food and travel blog writing began as a means to generate income during college and now photo journalism has become my lifestyle.

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