Wow, there’s a lot going on at the Plaza in downtown Las Vegas. To a layperson’s eye, none of it seems to be amounting to anything, such as success or profitability, but you be the judge.
First up, the hotel’s Island Sushi & Hawaiian Grill restaurant has closed. The restaurant has struggled for some time, and somebody finally decided to pull the plug.
Island Sushi is now sleeping with the fishes. The grapevine says a new hotel cafe is in the works.
Thanks to our friends at the Five Hundy by Midnight podcast for tipping us off to the closure of Island Sushi.
In another surprising turn of events, the hotel’s Z Lounge has also shuttered. If you don’t recognize the name of the lounge, that’s because it has had upwards of 17 names in recent years.
This is the lounge that was formerly the Swinger’s Club, an Anthony Cools’ production, featuring scantily-clad cocktail waitresses and miniature golf. (Cools is the comedy-hypnotist at Paris Las Vegas.)
After the Swinger’s Club came The Drink, which, yet again, failed. The latest attempt to throw spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks was Z Lounge. Today, all traces of this black hole of so-so ideas has been wiped clean.
See that wall? That was the lounge. It’s much more difficult for a wall to tank than a lounge.
Further exploring the casino floor, you’ll find an ever-moving poker room. Not exactly a bustling hub of activity.
They should put the “room” in “poker room” in quotation marks.
The room is equipped with electronic poker tables. People still play against people, but these tables eliminate the need for dealers. Which, we’re sure, goes over great with those who make their living as dealers.
No dealers. No chips. No fun.
The poker room was previously located on the other side of the casino, enclosed, next to the now-closed Island Sushi. The vacated space seems to want to be a space for live entertainment. The space might be better used as a place to keep the hotel’s life support machine.
On the right, Island Sushi. On the left, the saddest entertainment venue since the invention of the lounge lizard.
Upstairs, there’s more fail in store!
Exposed Salon, an idea we figured was foolproof, wasn’t. Even women doing manicures in lingerie couldn’t save this endeavor, another brainchild of Anthony Cools.
Oh, great, now where are we going to get our $50 haircuts?
We’ve learned exclusively that Exposed Salon will be replaced by (wait for it) a beef jerky store. Because there’s nothing quite like a beef jerky store when it comes to generating excitement about a Las Vegas hotel-casino.
In another exclusive, we’ve learned the beef jerky store at the Las Vegas Club is the one moving to the Plaza.
In our final exclusive, we’ve learned this beef jerky store, Las Vegas Jerkys, Inc., may be the only remaining business on planet Earth without a Web site.
Here’s a photo of the store at Las Vegas Club.
Exclusives are exhausting.
So, what does all this shuffling mean? It means the Plaza (and Las Vegas Club, as they’re owned by the same company, the Tamares Group) are run by people who have all the business acumen of Larry, Moe and Curly. But without the charm.
It means there’s not much reason to visit the Plaza except for the excellent street tacos at the Zaba’s Mexican Grill in the hotel’s food court.
The only other saving grace of the Plaza is probably its rooms. They’re a great value, large and clean, making them the perfect place to keep your stuff while you venture off to other, better casinos.
Oh, Plaza. Please don’t screw up Oscar’s.
The location of the Plaza is a tricky one. It’s at the end of Fremont Street, so it’s very visible, but it feels just outside of the party going on under the Fremont Street Experience. (This feeling has been exacerbated by the building of a landing platform for the SlotZilla zip line, pretty much trashing the Plaza’s view of the Viva Vision light shows.)
Awhile back, the Plaza got into a sparring match with Fremont Street Experience, refusing to pay a monthly assessment used to maintain the popular attraction. As such, the hotel doesn’t benefit from Fremont Street Experience’s marketing efforts and assistance. Obviously, given the state of the Plaza, it could use whatever assistance it can get.
We’ll keep an eye on all the latest at the Plaza and, hopefully, the joint can get its act together. Rumors are still rampant that a sale of the Las Vegas Club may be in the works to the CVS Pharmacy folks. Because nothing says Las Vegas excitement like DayQuil and condoms.