A Station Casino that follows their blueprint for mid-century, southwest design. That means it's nice, but also like other Station casinos. More like Flagstone City had a big sale.
Room Quality: Clean, basic rooms. They are average sized with an open closet (the hallmark of a budget-minded hotel). The rooms smell okay. One-bed rooms have a king, and two-bed rooms have two double beds. The bathroom is as small as reasonably possible. Don't think you can force a snoring friend to sleep in there. The windows open, but the hotel is so low you aren't likely to die in any fall. They have irons, hair-dryer, but no safe. The whole property has been dramatically improved by Station Casinos. Of course, they take it out of you in the casino, but still, it doesn't stink like it used to, and the property's overall decor is much nicer. CAUTION: Beware of outrageous mandatory "amenity fees" that will be tacked on to your room rate.
Service Quality: It's a small hotel meaning that check-in and check-out are quick. You will have time to argue that bill for a porno movie that "mysteriously" was charged to your room.
What You Get Bottles of in the Bathroom: Fine English soaps (you know the English like to smell good), conditioning shampoo and almond lotion.
Clientele: This place is packed with mostly older locals, but there are are families with kids here too. They are here for the bowling.
How's the Pool? Basic. Don't come out to the pool expecting to find romance, unless you are looking for a sexy senior citizen from out of town.
Resort Fee: (What is this?)
$15 per night. You get wired and wireless internet, local and domestic long distance calls, daily paper, copy and fax services. The stations also say you get a gift shop discount.
Table Games: Blackjack, craps, roulette, mini-baccarat, Three Card Poker and Pai-gow.
Bet Minimums: Roulette has dollar chips and $4 minumum bets. Craps can be $5 with 10x odds, and blackjack tables can be found with $5 minimums. LIR, Three Card and Pai Gow are $5. It's a decent place to gamble, the problem is that it's so far away from any other casino.
Machines: More video poker than God ever intended for this planet, with a less spectacular selection of slots. Full-pay video poker is pretty rare since the Station Casinos took over. The slots are mostly the video kind like Reel-Em-In or Monopoly. There is a new high-limit slots area.
Cocktails? There are cocktail waitresses roaming the massive casino, but we have yet to be offered a drink in this joint.
Who Gets Comps? Like most Station casinos, the Santa Fe is mediocre with the comps for visitors. They do want you to come back, but are trying to lure you back through their monopoly of Off-Strip properties, not with a sweet slot club. They are part of the the linked-casinos Station Boarding Pass slot club system.
Cabo: This little Mexican place right off the sportsbook features a lot of margaritas, maybe so you'll forget the food is not that good. Really, it's the same sort of Americanized stuff that Taco Bell serves. Check out the bartenders who throw bottles and make mixing drinks a big deal. They call it "flair." We call it, hurry up and give me my drink and quit hot-dogging.
Charcoal Room Steakhouse: Mmmmm, the ambience of a room full of charcoal. It's not quite as elegant as Boiler Room Seafood or Outhouse Grille, but it's right up there. The point is that the steaks are grilled over an open fire. Good? Yes. Worth going out of your way for? What, are you nuts? We didn't say great, and there are lots of great steak places in this town. Although, the wine list is good. They are open for dinner only.
Feast Buffet: The mid-century modern design of the place is emphasized in the buffet, which looks much nicer than it tastes. Expect the usuals like Italian, Tex-Mex, American and Asian to usually be on the menu. Get a slot club card to save on the price.
Sushi Avenue and Oyster Bar: This used to just be called an oyster bar with a sushi menu. Now, the sushi gets main billing. It's not because they are doing sushi better or different. It's just that it's what more people probably want. It also has a sake lounge. Prices are reasonable.
The food court has a Fatburger, Panda Express, Quizno's, Wing Stop and Villa Pizza. There is a Starbucks in this joint as well. There is a Johnny Rockets by the sports book and one in the bowling lanes, too.
Bowling: Sixty lanes of pin-scattering action and adventure await you in the Santa Fe bowling center. Watch out for the kiddies. They are here in abundance. There is a good arcade attached to the bowling alley.
Chrome Showroom: This is a glorified lounge with an already dated motorcycle and retro motif. It's mostly a lounge, but it will also have some traveling acts coming through, to which they will sell tickets.
Movie Theaters: Well, the theaters are nice, it's the lousy movies that are crappy. If you want to see one, though, this is a nice place to do it.
Revolver Saloon: It ain't open every night, just Wednesday through Saturday, but this join is a high-falutin' western bar that tries to combine a little ultralounge priciness with country music. There's a massive armadillo and mechanical bull riding and some sort of party event most every night.
Number of TVs: About 26 small and five mega-super-sized ones. Most of the screens are for racing.
Number of Seats: There are 192 seats for the race fans and each has a little TV. About 35 comfy loungers swaddle the bones of sports fans. Up above, there is a dais with a VIP section you can only get into by invite. It has about 20 more desks with even better private TVs (they probably get dirty movies, too) and six booths with each having another TV.
How Many Betting Windows? About 19, with odds displayed on a a jumbo TV.
Free Drinks? They sure do give out free drinks. The cocktail waitresses are as regular as a Metamucil lover. There is also a bar right behind the room.
Snack Bar? There are loads of fast food choices nearby, but Johnny Rocket's is closest.
Minimum Wager: $5 for sports, $2 for racing
Other Notes: This is a really nice off-Strip sports book. Our only gripe is that the sports bettor is treated much worse than the race bettor.
Number of Tables: Fourteen tables in a room open to the casino and quite noisy. The room is quite spacious, so maybe they plan on growing. Most of the time fewer than half are working.
Comfort of Chairs: Chairs are adequate. Let's leave it at that. They have rollers at least.
Closed Room or Open to Casino? It is a separate room off of the casino floor. Actually, it's pleasant with a high ceiling and enough room. Not too smoky or stinky, until we get there. Then, hoo boy! Look out.
Game Spreads and Limits: We hope you like Texas Hold 'Em. If you don't, maybe you can get lucky enough to be there when an Omaha game is being dealt. Texas is 2-4 or 4-8, and there is some 1-2 No Limit as well. They also say they deal Omaha and HORSE, but good luck finding them.
Beginner Games or Classes? No classes, but someone will teach you if you show up early in the morning and it's slow.
How Crowded is the Room? Most of the time the wait is non-existent or short. If for some rason, it is busy, you can call an hour in advance at 702-515-4315 and put your name on the list.
Comps? As with all stations, you earn a $1 an hour in comps on your Boarding Pass (the slot club) card.
How Good Are the Players? A fairly solid crowd of players. Lots of locals, not that that automatically means great. But, they usually have more experience under their belts.
What Else Do I Need to Know? The Super Progressive jackpot can get enormous.