Rediscovering the Iconic Plaza Hotel & Casino: A Jewel in Downtown Las Vegas

Fine Magazine
Rediscovering the Iconic Plaza Hotel & Casino: A Jewel in Downtown Las Vegas
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A Timeless Icon in Las Vegas

Nestled in the heart of downtown Las Vegas, sitting on top of the Freemont Experience as the crown jewel, the Plaza Hotel & Casino stands as a testament to timeless glamour, excitement, and luxury. With a history spanning more than five decades, this iconic hotel and casino has continuously evolved, pushing the boundaries of the entertainment and hospitality industries. From its unique origin to its significant recent renovations, the Plaza is more than just a hotel and casino; it's a piece of Las Vegas history.

Guests stepping into The Plaza are greeted by a celebration of eras gone by, with the establishment's rich history proudly on display. Yet, this nostalgia is complemented by modern comforts and aesthetics, ensuring a multifaceted experience. Recent renovations have infused contemporary luxury into the guest rooms and suites, sportsbook, and dining areas, all while preserving the nostalgic essence that loyal patrons have cherished for decades.

The Plaza Hotel & Casino: Marrying History with Luxury

Officially opening its doors on July 2, 1971, the Plaza Hotel & Casino, originally named "Union Plaza," is a gem steeped in the rich history of Las Vegas. Built on the site of the first Las Vegas railroad depot, the hotel pays homage to the Union Pacific Railroad and the pioneering spirit of the city's first settlers. Unique among its peers, the Plaza was directly connected to the train station, offering guests and travelers an unmatched experience right from their arrival via the rails—a distinction it held until 1997 when Amtrak services ceased.

Transformation and Renovation: A New Era for the Plaza

Under the stewardship of CEO Jonathan Jossel and the Tamares Group, the Plaza Hotel & Casino embarked on a series of ambitious renovations, starting with a sweeping $35 million makeover. This overhaul didn't just breathe new life into the guest rooms, casino floor, and reception area; it marked the beginning of a new era.

The transformation journey continued with an additional $15 million invested in creating over 100 Luxe guest rooms and suites. These premium accommodations, located in the North Tower, blend high-end décor, cutting-edge technology, and energy efficiency, reaffirming the Plaza's commitment to a luxurious guest experience.

One of the Plaza's crowning achievements in its renovation saga is the reimagining of its historic Main Street façade. This refreshed social hotspot now features exciting venues like the Carousel Bar, , and the exclusive Brian Christopher Slots. Each establishment adds a unique flavor, enhancing the Plaza's reputation as a one-of-a-kind destination.

Artistic Flair Meets Classic Casino Vibes

The Plaza isn't all about luxury accommodations and high-stakes gambling; it's also a haven for art enthusiasts. The hotel and casino boast three stunning 21-story murals by internationally acclaimed artists Shepard Fairey, D*Face, and Faile. These vibrant artworks add a contemporary touch while honoring the Plaza's historic integrity.

In the casino, players find themselves surrounded by an 80,000 square foot gaming utopia, featuring a blend of classic table games and the latest slot machines. The Plaza takes pride in offering lucrative odds, exciting innovations like downtown Las Vegas’ first Wheel of Fortune 4D game, and a bingo hall that's a hit with both novice and seasoned players. These elements, combined with the artistic touches, create an atmosphere that's both stimulating and aesthetically pleasing.

Brian Christopher Slots: A Personalized Gaming Experience at the Plaza

This exclusive collaboration with slot enthusiast Brian Christopher offers a dedicated, smoke-free gaming area featuring titles chosen by Brian, providing a personalized touch rarely seen on casino floors. The space isn't just about gaming; it's about community, with regular events, promotions, and opportunities for fans to interact with Brian himself.  This venture highlights The Plaza's dedication to reinventing casino gaming, making it a more dynamic and communal experience.

Exceptional Amenities and Dining: The Plaza Experience

The establishment hosts an array of restaurants, including the classic Oscar’s Steakhouse set in the iconic glass dome, offering a dining experience complemented by breathtaking views.

But the Plaza’s culinary delights don't end there. From the “Twisted Farm Food” of Hash House A Go Go to the gourmet slices at Pop Up Pizza, there's something to satisfy every palate. And for those looking to indulge in a drink or two, the vibrant Carousel Bar provides a unique outdoor bar experience under the glittering lights of the Plaza’s porte-cochère.  And who can resist some comfort food of a rooftop food truck.

Pop Up Pizza: A Slice of Delight at The Plaza

As a New York pizza lover, The Plaza Hotel & Casino offers a culinary gem that's garnered the attention of both tourists and locals alike: Pop Up Pizza. This isn't your average casino eatery; Pop Up Pizza serves up a modern twist on the classic pizza pie, tantalizing taste buds and leaving guests craving for more.

What sets Pop Up Pizza apart is its commitment to quality and flavor. Using only the freshest ingredients, they handcraft their dough and sauce daily, ensuring a perfect base for a plethora of toppings. From the classic Margherita to vegan options, every guest finds a slice to fall in love with. The pizzeria takes pride in its innovative and diverse menu, catering to traditional tastes while also embracing the bold flavors that food enthusiasts seek.

A Pioneer in Entertainment and Hospitality

The Plaza's recent focus on enhancing its entertainment offerings underscores its role as a pioneer in the hospitality industry. The CORE Arena, the first and only outdoor equestrian center downtown, exemplifies the Plaza's dedication to providing diverse experiences. This multipurpose venue hosts everything from rodeos to sporting events, further solidifying the Plaza's place in the heart of both locals and tourists.

CORE Arena: Reinventing Equestrian Events in Downtown Las Vegas

In its bid to diversify entertainment and offer unique experiences, The Plaza Hotel proudly presents the CORE Arena, the first and only permanent outdoor equestrian center in Downtown Las Vegas. This innovative arena underscores The Plaza's commitment to reviving the downtown area, introducing a whole new level of excitement and drawing a diverse crowd.

CORE Arena has significantly expanded The Plaza's event repertoire by hosting various equestrian events that not only cater to horse enthusiasts but also casual spectators eager for unique entertainment. The arena is fully equipped to facilitate rodeos, roping competitions, and barrel racing, among other equestrian events. This cutting-edge facility includes two outdoor competition arenas, 78 permanent horse stalls, and ample space for trailers and rigs.

Furthermore, the Plaza has embraced the rising popularity of Pickleball, featuring 12 dedicated courts for enthusiasts of this fast-growing sport. This feature, alongside the retro-inspired Pool at the Plaza, adds another layer to the guest experience, blending relaxation and recreational activity.

Continuing a Legacy of Excellence

The Plaza Hotel & Casino is more than a landmark; it's a living, evolving symbol of Las Vegas. Through significant investments in renovations, expansions, and diversifying guest experiences, it continues to forge a legacy that respects its rich past while embracing the future. Whether you're drawn by its historical allure, luxurious accommodations, vibrant gaming floors, or diverse culinary delights, the Plaza offers something unique for everyone, embodying the true spirit of Las Vegas.

In a city defined by its constant evolution, The Plaza Hotel & Casino stands as a beacon of how to respect history while embracing the future. Through its blend of classic offerings and modern experiences in gaming, dining, and entertainment, The Plaza isn't just surviving; it's thriving. As Las Vegas continues to grow and transform, The Plaza remains a steadfast symbol of the city's past, present, and future, offering guests an experience that's both nostalgic and refreshingly innovative.