Friday, December 4, 2009

Binion's Hotel Closes, Vintage Vegas Lives On

Did you hear the news that troubled Binion's hotel in downtown Las Vegas is closing? Of course, Binion's poker room -- where the World Series of Poker was born in 1971 -- will remain open, and so will the casino. But you won't be able to get a cheap steak-and-eggs deal in the coffee shop anymore, and there will be no keno (well, who cares about that, really). A favorite of real-live Nevada cowboys, Binion's 24th-floor steakhouse will close on Monday, December 14, after the NFR rodeo leaves town, but should reopen by December 28 in time for New Year's. I'm just crossing my fingers that the casino-level snack bar, with its hand-made burgers and sweet cherry pie, doesn't go anywhere soon.

I'm a die-hard fan of all things classic Las Vegas, but I've got to admit those hotel rooms at Binion's were just not up to snuff the last time I stayed there. Stiff competition, including from the glittering Golden Nugget and its brand-new Rush Tower across the street, was just too much. Even the basic rooms at Main Street Station are better value than Binion's. Still, it's hard not to get nostalgic about the downfall of a Fremont Street legend like Binion's, which has already changed owners more times in the 21st century than it did in the 20th.

Thankfully, there are still plenty of places downtown, on or off Fremont Street, to get that vintage Vegas vibe:

Related Posts:
Las Vegas: Save Money, Escape the Strip
Las Vegas: Mad Dash to the Rodeo

Photo: Fremont Street, Downtown Las Vegas (Michael Connolly, Jr.)

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