Las Vegas was known as a place for inexpensive hotel rooms and food to lure you into the hotels casino. The mantra was bring them in anyway you can because we will get the money in the casino. For downtown, that may still be the case, but the strip has changed significantly.
Older hotels are being torn down to make room for upscale properties that charge room rates you would expect to find in most major cities. The traffic for the strip is now upscale as conventions, business travelers, and folks with lots of disposable income are flocking into the city and demand for the better things in life is now the rule.
No longer is the room just a place to sleep off a big night in the casino. It is now filled with fancy accessories as flat panel televisions, fancy sheets, and exotic soaps. More Visa Las Vegas than Viva Las Vegas.
Loud imposing smoke-filled casinos still anchor this town, and $50 rates are still typical at hotels downtown, away from the action. But the Strip, the boulevard of Las Vegas dreams, is no longer home to the low-cost weekend getaway.
Las Vegas “was known as the capital of cheap rooms and cheap food,” said Alan Feldman, a spokesman for MGM Mirage, the giant hotel and casino company developing the Boardwalk site. “It was known as the capital of the cheap vacation — and you got what you paid for. We used to give coupon books for free drinks and two-for-one buffet. Now we have 300-thread-count sheets and turn-down service.”
The trends conform to Las Vegas’s effort to redefine itself as a more diversified destination, offering superb but costly restaurants ($88 for the 12-ounce grilled Kobe rib-eye steak at Tao at the Venetian) and shows like Cirque du Soleil’s “O” ($93.50 to $150 a seat). The new features have helped keep Las Vegas growing even as many new casinos — from small card houses to Indian casinos — are springing up around the country and providing local outlets for gamblers. via New York Times.