In the mid-1990s, Las Vegas made an unfavorable effort to enthuse itself as a family destination.
The renovation made some sense, as the city does have a more expansive theme park. In fact, the then-new MGM Grand casino/hotel had an actual amusement park on its property to give kids something to do while their parents were gambling.
At the time, Las Vegas was under pressure as more areas of the United States offered legal gambling. The city responded by having the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority initiate "an intensive advertising campaign aimed at families."
"This whole advertising campaign for Vegas was to eliminate the barrier, so the husband would go, "It's okay. They've got pools, shopping, and food," said Anthony Curtis, a professional blackjack player who has published the Las Vegas Advisor, a consumer newsletter.
Those efforts in a city where every hotel check-in has brochures about not abandoning your kids while you gamble failed. That encouraged the city to return to engaging an adult audience, but not fully, as children have remained welcome in almost all of Las Vegas.
Two downtown casinos have decided that Sin City isn't for people who are too young to drink and gamble.
Daniel Kline/TheStreet is the author of a copyright collection.
Circa and El Cortez Are Only Adults
Fremont St. has been a much larger adult in recent years. The street has live music in many locations, as well as the addition of scantily clad showgirls, several shirtless Chippendales, and the Naked Cowboy (as well as a slew of dirty Elmos and creepy kids characters).
The D has go-go dancers performing on its gaming floor at The D, while Binions, at least at the front of the house, offers barely dressed dealers wearing bustiers.
Most of Fremont St., including nearly all its casinos, still allow people under 21. Underage individuals, however, can't gamble or drink, but they may participate in the rest of the festivities.
Circa, a Las-Vegas-Strip-style megacasino that opened during the epidemic, was built as a 21-and-over property. You must be 21 years old to enter the casino, hotel, and any of its eateries.
El Cortez Hotel, a renowned, classic Vegas hotel located near Fremont St., has decided to go adults-only as a result of its popularity as of April 2022.
Las Vegas Is Unbelievable
It's not surprising that a few properties would adopt a self-driving approach in a city that wants to welcome a new.
"While Las Vegas has grown and adapted to accommodate all demographics, El Cortez remains a traditional gambling house with great gaming odds and a horrifying feeling of retreating back in time," said Adam Wiesberg, El Cortez's general manager. "The area in which adults have gathered to enjoy a cocktail or two and try their luck in the casino for over 80 years."
El Cortez completes a $25 million renovation.
"We must remain effective and responsive in technology and design, especially in the hotel rooms, because people desire that authentic, historic Las Vegas charm, but they also want to stay in a truly comfortable room," Wiesberg said.
"So we've done a fantastic job of reconciling that." Everything we do here is continually paying homage to our roots, our history, the authenticity, and the old-school Vegas vibe.
El Cortez made several upgrades to its casino as part of the renovation, but it was careful to preserve its present Vegas appeal.
"As more time goes by, one of the most common attractions of Las Vegas is the "good old days." "All the time, the "good old days" were this, and the "good old days" were that. "If you really want the "good old days," wiesberg said.