Get out of the cold and indulge Vegas Style during the winter months

STORY BY Sam Russell

Published: January 2, 2016

It’s Vegas! You Can Rest When You’re Dead

Hidden within the historic roots of Nevada lies the heart of a small town and the soul of a restless wanderer. A city founded by ranchers and railroad workers, modern-day Las Vegas still embraces that Old West style of freedom—freedom to indulge, freedom to gamble, and freedom to camp anywhere your sweet heart desires. If you want a sense of nostalgic Las Vegas before this oasis in the desert found its mark in the Strip, travel downtown and rest awhile under the blinking lights of the Plaza Hotel & Casino. 

But before we divulge secrets of where to get a good night’s rest in downtown Vegas, we have a confession to make. A Vegas sin, if you will, that we must confess. Although frequent flyers to Vegas, this trip marked our maiden voyage to downtown Vegas and The Fremont Street Experience.  Often trapped in convention centers all day, we simply were out of the loop. With its four blocks of casinos, restaurants, bars and shops, and roof canopy 90 feet high, Fremont Street is not to be missed. 

The Plaza Hotel & Casino is the gateway to Fremont Street and is an ideal anchor for rest and refreshment in downtown Vegas. A short $15 Uber or Lyft ride away from the hustle and bustle of the Strip, you get more bang for your buck when you stay local and reserve a room at this historic get-away. The Plaza Hotel & Casino is an iconic vestige of Sin City in its former glory of glitz, glamor, and gambling.  When it opened its doors in 1971 with over 500 rooms, it was the largest hotel and casino in the world.  The guest rooms are simple and uncluttered with modern appeal at every turn. Undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation in 2011, marble bathrooms, premium bedding, and 32-inch flat-screen HDTVs now accent all guest rooms, which are immaculately cleaned and appointed exclusively for your arrival.  


When you stay at the Plaza, you are experiencing true cinematic history Vegas style.  Built on the former site of the first train depot in Las Vegas in 1905, the Plaza has been host to many cinematic productions.  Rent the movie Casino with Robert De Niro & Sharon Stone and spot the famous scene that played out here. Relive Biff Tannen’s Pleasure Paradise Hotel & Casino in Back to the Future, all based on the neon lights and marque of the Plaza.

Eating, drinking, and having fun is a way of life in Vegas. Inside the iconic dome of the Plaza Hotel & Casino is Oscar’s Steakhouse, where beef, booze, and broads is an institution. The table next to us was oohing and aahing over a bottle of wine and steaks while just across the street the Fremont Street Experience pulsed away with its Viva Vision canopy video screen, bands, and live music stage shows. Lady Luck has a real treat in store for you and your palate at Oscar’s Steakhouse.  Ample portions of perfectly aged steaks alongside fresh lump crab cakes, Mob Meatballs and Manny’s crab stuffed jumbo shrimp will leave you loosening your belt. While we didn’t have the pleasure of mingling with any broads during dinner, a Robert De Niro impersonator, who had an uncanny way of bringing Casino’s Sam “Ace” Rothstein back to life, entertained us swimmingly.    


The competition is fierce for lodging in these parts. But if you do what you are told, you will be pleasantly surprised. While many are stacking wood to burn over these late winter months, know that Vegas is already on fire.

*Inquire about the new Beer Garden! German inspired food, microbrews and imported beers on tap

*Become a VIP Casino Member and experience the unforgettable penthouse suites

*Race & Sports Bar located on the casino floor

* Mountain Views Available, but RSVP In Advance

The Plaza Hotel & Casino

1 S Main St.

Las Vegas, NV 89101



Photo credit: pool photo by Tony King/LasVegas News Bureau




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