The changes in Las Vegas were very bold this year. The boldest changes came from the Vegas Strip casino and hotel operators. They continued to increase resort fees, began charging for parking, admitted to short pouring drinks and started monitoring play at video poker machines in order to minimize complimentary drinks. Individually none of these wouldn’t bother many people but when they all happen together people take notice.
Despite the many great improvements these properties make to their restaurants and bars, these things burn. Nobody likes when a company takes away benefits or raise prices. This is the year where many people who exclusively stayed on the Vegas Strip began looking elsewhere. Earlier this year I wrote that it might finally be time to consider staying in downtown Las Vegas. Well, it might also be time to consider hotels and casinos away from the Vegas Strip.
This year, Station Casinos and Boyd Gaming added new casino-hotels to their roster. Station Casinos added Palms while Boyd Gaming added Aliante, Cannery, and Eastside Cannery to their roster of Las Vegas casinos. Both companies are seen as locals casino operators since they mostly cater to the people who live in Las Vegas and may not frequent the casinos on the Vegas Strip.
One reason that some stay on the Vegas Strip is that many of the properties are linked through one players club where you can earn and use rewards at multiple properties. Both Boyd and Station have a large roster of casino-hotels around Las Vegas that connect through their respective players clubs:
Boyd Gaming (B-Connected)
Station Casinos (Boarding Pass)
If you’re thinking about exploring Las Vegas options beyond the Vegas Strip both companies have some affordable hotel options near the Vegas Strip. Boyd Gaming has the Gold Coast and The Orleans while Station Casinos has Palace Station and the Palms. Boyd Gaming also has three properties near the Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas with the California, Fremont, and Main Street Station (see this old post “Get To Know These 3 Downtown Las Vegas Properties From Boyd Gaming).
Not everyone enjoys Las Vegas without the Vegas Strip. I get that. When I first started visiting Las Vegas I never left the Strip. It’s a totally different world and that’s better for some people than others. Boyd Gaming and Station Casinos are a good place to start if you’re looking for other options beyond the Vegas Strip to stay and play in Las Vegas. They have a good variety of properties in many locations. Recent improvements in their properties and players clubs makes leaving the Vegas Strip a little less daunting as it used to be.