Exploration Summary: City Center and Las Vegas Boulevard

00 roulette table at EncoreEncore's gaming establishment offers an enticing 00 roulette table experience.

My wife and I were in need of a little break, so we came up with the idea of a short staycation. Originally, our plan was to spend a night at Caesars Palace and then another night at Wynn. However, we soon discovered that many of our beloved restaurants on the Strip were closed. Undeterred, we brainstormed a new plan and decided to divide our stay between downtown and the Strip.

On Monday, we reached out to our Plaza host to inquire about a room for the next evening. To our delight, we were assigned one of their brand-new Luxe suites. We've been fortunate to receive upgraded rooms at the Plaza on past occasions, but securing a suite has only occurred once before.

At Plaza, atop the North Tower, one can find these rooms. From this vantage point, a panoramic vista of Fremont Street unfolds. It is worth noting that the South Tower, renowned for its mini-suites and cabana rooms, will remain closed until the weekend of July 4.

The room, in my opinion, is truly outstanding. Despite the potential concern of excessive noise emanating from the lively music and revelers on Fremont Street, I found a clever solution. By activating the continuous fan feature on the air conditioning, I was able to effectively muffle the majority of these external sounds. It's remarkable how such a simple setting can make a significant difference in creating a peaceful and tranquil environment within the room.

I decided to try my luck at our usual game of Joker Poker, and surprisingly, I managed to hit the jackpot by landing what I like to call a perfect set of five shamrocks. This stroke of good fortune brought me a couple of hundred dollars, certainly a pleasant reward for my gambling endeavors. Curious to explore new avenues of entertainment, my companion and I made our way to the Omaha bar, where there was a designated area for couples to indulge in video poker. However, every time we passed by, we noticed it was always occupied, predominantly by solitary gentlemen seeking solace in the game.

Between gambling and drinking sessions, we found ourselves in a predicament. It turned out that both Hash Hash a Go Go and Oscar's, the dining options we had in mind, were closed on specific days. Hash Hash a Go Go closed its doors on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, while Oscar's shut down from Monday through Wednesday. Faced with this setback, we had to improvise. Our hunger pangs led us to settle for a combination of Subway sandwiches and mouthwatering pizza. Although it wasn't exactly what we had envisioned, it turned out to be a satisfying alternative amidst our adventures.

A few visits to Fremont Street were also part of our itinerary. One thing that caught our attention was the absence of security personnel at the entrance gates, although the temperature check machines remained in place. Surprisingly, this meant that anyone, regardless of age, could freely enter. We couldn't help but ponder whether this lax approach was due to the slow weekday foot traffic or a deliberate decision by the Fremont Street Experience management. However, upon reviewing pictures from the past weekend, it appears that stricter enforcement measures are implemented during busier periods.

I believe that Fremont Street should be exclusively for adults, and when Circa opens in October, only individuals aged 21 and above will be allowed.

I was really looking forward to visiting Whiskey Liquor Bar at Binion's during my recent trip, but to my dismay, there seemed to be a slight hitch in our plans. Despite our willingness to sit outside, we couldn't seem to find a way to get seated. It appeared that every other seat was blocked off, as if they were only anticipating the arrival of individual patrons. This posed a bit of a predicament for us as a couple. Unfortunately, the indoor section upstairs faced the same issue. I understand the importance of social distancing, but it would be great if they could also make provisions for couples to enjoy their time together.

Wynn Corner Panoramic

On our subsequent evening, we found ourselves in a splendid room tucked away in a corner of the illustrious Wynn hotel. Perched on the 52nd floor, the room offered breathtaking vistas to the north and west. However, much to our dismay, the view didn't quite live up to our lofty expectations, even with the promised upgrade. The only glimpse of the iconic Las Vegas Strip was marred by the sight of the vacant Frontier parcel and the bustling Resorts World construction site. Our view towards the north was obstructed by the towering Encore building. To the east, however, we were treated to the lovely sight of a sprawling golf course. Despite the slight disappointment, we couldn't deny that our room was truly remarkable, offering multiple perspectives from its lofty position in the tower.

We refrained from gambling during our visit to Wynn. Our objective was to explore the property and discover any distinctive features.

The Encore poker room has not yet opened its doors to players, but there's a hint that things might change in the near future. I couldn't help but notice a clever move they made – they installed a transparent plexiglass divider on one of the tables. This ingenious solution seems to suggest that they are planning to accommodate up to six players at a time. It's reminiscent of what Bellagio did to overcome the restrictions imposed by the five-player table limit. Who knows, maybe the Encore poker room will soon be buzzing with excitement as eager poker enthusiasts gather around these newly modified tables, ready to test their luck and skills.

I couldn't believe my eyes when I walked into the casino. It was completely lifeless, like a ghost town. The normally bustling players lounge was cordoned off, inaccessible to anyone. Even the vibrant pit that housed the popular double deck blackjack, Pai Gow, and baccarat games was shut down, its lights dimmed. In all my visits to this establishment, I had never witnessed such a stark scene before. A majority of the table games at Encore were left untouched, their dealers waiting patiently for players who never came. On the other hand, Wynn had a slightly more lively atmosphere, but it was evident that this was an unusually slow night. As we had anticipated, the room rate was significantly low, and it seemed to have impacted the usual flow of patrons.

This arrangement is our preference at the moment, as the situation calls for less gathering of people.

In the late afternoon, my companions and I decided to visit Allegro for some appetizers and drinks. As we arrived, we noticed that the restaurant was fairly quiet with only a handful of tables occupied. It was quite common for the adjacent pit to be closed on a weekday, so we were not surprised by its unavailability.

Before calling it a night, we ordered room service and indulged in a bottle of wine, savoring every sip. In search of relaxation, we then ascended to our cozy haven. As we entered the room, we were greeted by two luxurious bathrobes, inviting us to unwind and embrace comfort. Alongside, the blinds awaited our command, easily adjustable with the provided controls. Mounted on the wall, a spacious TV caught our attention, promising entertainment and leisure.

Thoughts about crowds

I've come across numerous tweets discussing the present Las Vegas visitor. One glaring observation we made at both places was the scarcity of tourists. It's worth mentioning that we were able to secure a complimentary suite with only a day's notice at one establishment, and at the Wynn, we managed to secure a spacious upgraded room for approximately $200. This serves as undeniable evidence of the current state of affairs.

I hadn't realized it at first, but upon closer observation, I discovered that there were actually more families present than we initially noticed. Surprisingly enough, there were also a higher percentage of gamblers among the patrons. What caught my attention, however, was the absence of suits and conventioneers. It occurred to me that the number of gamblers and families might actually be close to what is considered normal. It's just that these particular groups stand out more when there are significant portions of the market that are almost entirely missing.

I anticipate that the decline in amenities will outweigh the decrease in gaming numbers when the June statistics are released. Although the gamblers are still actively participating, their numbers have noticeably dwindled. The enticement of promotions has a detrimental effect on the revenue generated from dining and hotel services. Simultaneously, the utilization of convention space is minimal, and the availability of entertainment options is almost non-existent.

I have noticed that Las Vegas has returned to its roots, reminiscent of the golden days when gamblers were cherished and held in high esteem, much more so than in recent decades. It brings me great joy and anticipation to witness this renewed emphasis on providing exceptional customer service, and I sincerely hope that it endures long after the commencement of ordinary times.