This past weekend, I got an opportunity to spend a night at the newly-opened Aliante Station. It was pretty much everything as billed including how far "out there" the place really is. The design and feel is quite similar to Red Rock in desert browns and reds. The first thing that struck me were the front doors. They are a translucent blueish green on the way into the lobby but amber colored on the way out. Very cool. Just like Red Rock and GVR, they have gone to great lengths to seperate the hotel and casino. With only 202 rooms, there was only a small wait to chack-in, no more than 10 minutes from valet to room. The room also sports the desert color scheme with a lot of dark wood and natural colors. There is a flat screen TV, mini-bar, CD/MP3 clock radio and a safe. A nice feature is a big, comfortable bench seat that is great for watching TV. The bathroom is pretty large for a standard room and nicely done with nice fixtures and lots of tile. The downside is only 1 sink and just a shower, no tub.
The casino has all of the latest greatest machines with nearly all having video screens for both the display and the marquee. This means that just about any machine can be made into something different in no time at all. There is goodly amount of multi-line penny slots along side tons of mostly weak video poker. The table pit is fairly large for a locals place with mostly low minimum games.
As for the location... I decided to take the I-15 to the Beltway route on the way up, which is out of the way but damn, there is a huge amount of nothing along the drive. It is seriously at the very north end of the valley. The better way to get there is by taking surface streets through North Las Vegas but either way, it's about as far north as you can go. However despite it's remote location, at the end of the day the Vegas Valley isn't very big. Even at 5 PM, I was able to make the drive from Aliante to downtown in about 25 minutes. Maybe living in southern California skews my perspective but nothing seems very far while driving around Vegas.
Aliante Station is quite a nice place from the lobby to the rooms to the casino. It better be considering it cost a cool $750 million and that is my biggest problem with the place. For a Saturday night, the place was pretty busy despite the economy; it was busy with nickle video poker and $5 Blackjack players. You need an awful lot of those people to pay the bills on 3/4 of a billion dollars and I just don't know if they have the clientele. Clearly, the place was planned before the economy went poof and the expectation was for growth around the casino. With that not happening in the foreseeable, I don't know if it can carry it's weight when all is said and done. Station Casinos is already starting to have troubles with it's debt load since the buyout and there are rumors of a bankruptcy on the horizon. We will see if this place remains a Station the dust finally settles on the current economic environment.
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