Football and the fate of the free hot dog

What’s happened to Monday Night Football? Once a key cog in the casino promotions machine, MNF parties have not only been deemphasized, they’ve been discontinued in many places.

The most obvious examples are Sam’s Town and Suncoast, where for years your first hot dog and beer were free just for showing up. No longer. Hot dogs at both are now $1.50. At Suncoast, they’re footlongs that come with lots of good toppings, which is a decent deal for a buck and a half. But that’s not the point. Sam’s Town is still handing out a free 22-ounce draft beer, which is a deal that’s better than decent. But again, that’s not the point. What about the hot dogs?

Big MNF parties used to run in the Railhead at Boulder Station, Club Madrid at Sunset Station, Ovation at GVR, Ravello at M Resort, and the ballroom at the Palms. They’re all gone. Then there were the strip clubs. Hustler, OG and Club Paradise, among others, traditionally ran parties with free food and drink specials. Those deals are mostly gone, too. Some places, like Cover Girls (formerly Jaguars) and Vince Neil’s Girls, Girls, Girls (formerly Déjà Vu), don’t even open until the game’s over. Wow!

Are there any good parties left? A few. The best casino party is at South Point, which continues to carry the MNF flag with a big bash in the showroom that draws a lively crowd. Get hot dogs for $1, pizza for $2, unlimited draft beer for $15 and maybe some of the $1,000 in cash given away over the course of the game (this one also runs on Thursday nights). Silverton and Gold Coast, meanwhile, have smaller parties that draw fans.

There are three good options left in the strip clubs. Start at Crazy Horse III, where draft beer is free from 4 p.m. till kickoff, then drafts and dogs are a buck during the game. Sapphire is running its $20 deal again. Everyone pays (including locals), but that gets you three drinks and unlimited food from an Italian buffet. Drink choices include premium beers (Heineken and Amstel) and liquors (Patrón and Absolut). The strip club equivalent to South Point is Treasures. This one has the best buffet of all—hot dogs, pasta, pizza, salads, fresh fruit—and it’s free. Domestic beer, wine and well drinks are $1 till 6 p.m., then all drinks go to regular high prices but are 2-for-1. All of these places have big screens and big crowds.

From what I can tell after just two weeks, you should also be looking to the bars for the better deals. For example, Money Plays on Flamingo puts out free eats at halftime from the neighboring El Taco Feliz. Maybe I can get a free hot dog there at some point.

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