After a busy 2014 that saw the openings of SLS, the Cromwell, Delano, and the Linq promenade and High Roller observation wheel, things will slow down a bit on and around the Strip in 2015. Check that: Things will slow down a lot. Construction on such big projects as the Park and the associated MGM Resorts International/AEG arena, as well as the massive Resorts World Las Vegas at center Strip, will continue, but the closest thing to a casino opening scheduled for 2015 is the piece-by-piece unveiling of the reworked Casino Royale. Part of that will be our very first White Castle, which I guess counts as pretty big news. In the meantime, the Las Vegas deal machine will continue to roll.
Let’s start 2015 with good news in candy. A new Ethel M Chocolates kiosk has opened on the west side in Tivoli Village. It’s noteworthy because the only other Ethel M outlet, aside from the Henderson factory and airport locations that you can’t get to without a plane ticket, is Downtown at the California, where there happens to be a good value play. Many of the assortments are $34, but you get a 15 percent discount if you spend at least $35. Throw in two candy bars, and it comes out to the same $34 with the added bonus. As of now, the Tivoli Village kiosk is scheduled to operate only through Valentine’s Day.
Across the street from Tivoli is the Suncoast, which recently debuted a new sports bar called The Game. I could tell you all about the “more than 25 TVs” (though I counted only 23), but what I dig about this place are the first-I’ve-ever-seen chicken legs, as opposed to wings or fingers. Five big legs to an order ($6.99) come with a choice of two dipping sauces. If you’re still hungry, grab a foot-long hot dog for $1.75 from the cart in the adjacent sportsbook.
Here’s a cool parlay: Buy a bottle of a new California-distilled brand called Jackpot Vodka and get a $25 casino-redemption credit at the Palms. Each bottle has a unique five-character code on the cap, which can be redeemed online for a minimum resort credit of $25. With a suggested retail price of $24.99, assuming you redeem your Palms credit, it’s like getting the booze for free.
Also on the drinking scene, The Jackpot Bar at Slots A Fun has an unadvertised happy hour from 3 to 5 p.m. daily, with all draft beers $1.08.
Lastly, the Hustler Club recently announced it’s applying for a license to run a sportsbook. Topless bookies sounds like a long shot to me, but sports and strip clubs seem to go together, judging from nearby Crazy Horse III’s cool sports lounge that continues to be the best place in town to watch UFC pay-per-view events for free (with complimentary pizza).
Anthony Curtis is the publisher of the Las Vegas Advisor.