Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Red Rock Station

The fifteenth – halfway through the month and I’ve only missed one day. How’s that Lisa? Let’s get back to some Vegas stuff today. Here’s a side of Vegas that most tourists will not see.

Besides the big Strip hotels and the older places downtown there are quite a few hotels and casinos scattered around town that cater mostly to the ‘locals’. One of these is the Stations Casino group. There are several Station casinos around – Palace Station, Boulder Station, Main Street Station – they are smaller and not as fancy as the big places, the food and entertainment is not as high class, but the prices are also a lot lower. When we have visitors coming to town that are coming to spend time with us and not be tourists we usually direct them to one of the Station hotels.

Part of their group is the Green Valley Ranch on the east side. If you watch TV there was one of those ‘reality’ shows that ran for two years that was based on the running of the Green Valley Casino. (It may still be on). The last time Michael Jackson was in town he stayed there. That visit involved a four hour live on TV freeway chase of Michael’s limos from the airport around the Vegas Valley by TV chase cars and helicopters until he ended up at the GVR.

This group opened a new facility on the far west side of the valley recently – it’s called Red Rock Station. There was a lot of controversy involved with this construction, as it’s close to the entrance to the Red Rock National Conservation Area and in the center of an expensive section of homes. There were protests by the rich people not wanting a tower near their homes (though they would be going there a lot) with the main point of argument being the entrance to the conservation area should not have such a tall tower so close by. (it’s about five miles away, and a big mountain in between). The Station Group compromised, and instead of one big tower they changed plans to do two smaller towers.

The grand opening was a few months ago, and unlike their other properties this one is pushed as a ‘high end’ facility. They still have a huge bingo room (big draw for the older locals) like the other places, as well as a multi screen movie theatre. But the casino floor is much more open, larger, and there are several expensive restaurants scattered around, in addition to the cheap buffet. We waited for things to calm down, and went a few weeks ago, to hit the movies and wander around.

The casino floor is interchangeable with most other big ones, full of slot machines and table games. This picture is the view from the coffee shop.

After eating at the Rib restaurant (reasonable prices, food’s OK) we wandered over to the Café for desert.

A fairly nice coffee shop, with a front display case that reminded me of the little patisseries in France.

Lots of sweet gooey goodies. We ended up with a nice cappuccino and a lemon tart.

A pleasant way to spend some time, with tea and coffee and a sweet, sitting overlooking the casino floor and talking with friends. If you are on the strip there are a few similar places; one I would recommend is at the chocolate fountain in the Bellagio. They’ve got lots of nice stuff there, if you are on one of my tours of the Strip it’s a good location for a stop after seeing the Bellagio Conservatory. I'd rather spend time like this than sitting at a slot machine or in a bar.

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