Coin slots, blackjack, and Starbucks: Las Vegas property renovated

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Coin slots, blackjack, and Starbucks: Las Vegas property renovated
Wild Casino

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The El Cortez has taken a gamble on using its casino floor to bridge the generation gap for Las Vegas, and with influencers and longtime gamblers sharing a table—it doesn’t look like they are bluffing.

The 83-year-old hotel casino still stands as a reminder of the city’s past according to Adam Wiesberg, general manager of El Cortez Hotel & Casino.

Standing on the floral pattern carpet, Weisberg discussed the owner’s commitment to the old while, with one flick of his finger, he turned down the entire casino floor’s music from his tablet, a reminder the property hasn’t lost its touch.

“The contrast creates an energy here,” he said. “We have local baby boomers here every day interacting with all the millennials, this is now their hangout spot.”

Standing next to the dice tables Christopher Pomparelli, a Las Vegas video creator with a combined 270,000 followers, chatted with Wiesberg on the next best shot to showcase the property.

Wiesberg said social media influencers have become essential to the casino’s customer marketing strategy and noted that the casino has a friendly policy for video streamers.

In 2022, the El Cortez transitioned to a 21-and-over property, a change Wiesberg said has been beneficial for guests.

“It makes sense for us because we don’t have amenities for kids,” he said. “If it had any negative impact, it would be hotel occupancy, a little bit in the summertime when families are traveling with kids, but even then, it hasn’t really impacted us.”

Guests have appreciated the age restriction according to Wiesberg, and that hasn’t stopped parents from bringing in their “kids” per se.

“I will have three generations on a blackjack table,” he said. “The grandparents bring in their kids that bring the grandkids for their 21st birthday; it’s a weekly event.”

A combined $50 million in renovations are set to continue as a remodel of the main hotel tower’s 200 rooms has been completed, and the casino floor is now prepared for some refurbishment.

“A lot of times we’re at capacity, we need more slot machines, we need more tables, more dining options, more amenities,” Wiesberg said. “We’re adding on about 10,000 square feet to the casino floor.”

The addition will be completed by converting the existing high-limit room into a table games high-limit room, building a new Starbucks, adding Hot Noods by Chinglish, and providing other live entertainment opportunities.

“Then we are adding a show bar with a 20-foot TV screen and a stage behind the bartender,” Wiesberg said.

Ike’s will be seeing a rebranding as it becomes a roulette bar set for social engagements in the middle of the casino floor.

Wiesberg said the owner, Kenny Epstein, and customers understand what has made El Cortez stand out, authenticity.

“We still have 60-coin slot machines,” he said. “And the same people play those, played them 40 to 50 years ago.”

The remaining $20 million in renovations are planned to start in June and carry through Jan. 2025.