Off Strip resorts in Las Vegas were once thought of as simply “locals casinos,” having little appeal to visitors, but Off Strip properties are as varied, perhaps more so, than those on the Strip or Downtown. From budget motels to high end hotels, there is something for everyone. And, while staying outside the main tourist areas may not appeal to every visitor, it can be a terrific option for others. Many places are located only a mile or two from the Strip and can serve as an inexpensive base of operations, particularly for someone with a car. Others, though much further out in the burbs, have so much going for them that spending a night or two there can be a welcome break from the madness. And, of course, playing where the locals play usually means better odds and lower limits, as well as good value food. Here’s a few general tips.
- For those visitors interested in a good value hotel close to the Strip, consider one of the properties located just to the west of I-15. Orleans, Palms, Rio, Gold Coast and Palace Station all offer decent accommodations (Palms has the best rooms) and all except the Rio offer some sort of free shuttle to the Strip.
- For a visitor wanting to take in some of the natural beauty of the desert, consider a stay in Summerlin. Located a good 15 to 20 miles from the Strip, it is close to Red Rock canyon, Mount Charleston and a number of excellent golf courses. Red Rock Resort, Suncoast and the JW Marriott are all good lodging choices and Red Rock might very well be the finest Off Strip property of them all. The neighborhood also offers excellent dining and shopping.
- The frugal gambler might very well appreciate a stay out on Boulder highway, southeast of Downtown. There is a lot of good video poker out this way and even the slots are purported to be particularly loose. Places like Boulder Station, Sam’s Town and the Eastside Cannery may not be fancy but they are usually some of the cheapest places in town. The area can be a bit sketchy in places so consider renting a car if you decide to explore.
- South of the Strip, there are several properties worth considering. South Point, Silverton and the M resort are all located out this way. The M is very nice but is also located just about as far south as you can get and still be in Las Vegas. It hosts one of the best buffets anywhere in town. Silverton has a Bass Pro Shop on site and the South Point hosts a number of equestrian events. Both are fairly close to the airport and the car rental facility.
- Henderson, Nevada is the 2nd largest city in the state and also hosts its fair share of casinos. If you want to stay here, your best bets are either Sunset Station or Green Valley Ranch. Green Valley Ranch is located across from a major retail development called the District and is second only to Red Rock Resort for luxurious Off Strip lodging.
- If, for some reason, you want to check out the north side of Las Vegas, there are a number of places to stay. Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station are the closest to Downtown but are both located close to a rough neighborhood. Further afield are the Cannery, Santa Fe Station and Aliante. Aliante is particularly nice and this area typically rivals Boulder highway for the best paying slots and VP.
- Finally there is a category I will call “near Strip” as these places are just a short walk from Las Vegas Boulevard. Out east on Flamingo Road, you have Ellis Island, Silver Sevens and the Tuscany. Ellis Island is known for cheap gambling, karaoke and good value food. Tuscany offers comfortable mini suites and a laid back setting. Silver Sevens is just a place to crash but not a terrible one. On east Harmon, you’ll find a number of good hotels and, out by the university, the Hard Rock Hotel, soon to be the Virgin hotel. It’s always been a favorite of mine.