Vegas -- Changes in the air
New carpet pattern at Binion's, Las Vegas, 11/3/06
LAS VEGAS -- What a difference a month makes. After a couple years of almost rebelliously not changing the horseshoe-patterned carpet as part of Harrah's requirement after it purchased the Horseshoe brand and sold the old downtown casino to a group that renamed it Binion's, the carpet is finally changing.
The famous old poker room that used to be the home of the World Series of Poker finally is getting a makeover. It looks like the casino is trying to literally lighten things up there and permanently change the poker room's previous dark atmosphere.
The carpet has gone from black to a beige/brown color, with a "B" logo and in some places, a brown silhouette of a cowboy.
Right after Harrah's bought the property a few years back, this Binion's employee told me and Mark that Harrah's was making the casino remove the old Horseshoe carpeting. It almost became an inside joke between us over the months as we continued to walk across the same old carpet on our visits to the poker room.
In addition, nice wooden floors are going into the aisles and every table is really well-lit because of an almost schizophrenic, obsessive-compulsive, series of track lighting from the ceiling.
I guess this is for the TV crews, as banners before the casino say that Binion's is sponsoring the Ultimate Poker Challenge (which once was at the Plaza). But for a player, it's difficult to sit under those lights. I was wearing shorts and a T-shirt and I was sweating before an hour was up under those heat lamps. LOL.
Across the street, the new Golden Nugget room is absolutely beautiful. It occupies a small alcove just off the main table games area and it gives off this poker parlor kind of feel. You can tell the quality is just there, in the tables and wall decorations. The only other room that gives off this kind of sophistication and coziness is the Wynn's poker room.
The Stratosphere's poker room also has been moved off the main casino floor into an alcove, this time on the opposite side of the sportsbook where it was before. But unliked the Nugget, it's pretty plain on the inside and has a purely utilitarian feel to it.
Even the Excalibur has changed in the little more than a month since I was here last. The convenient parking lot directly behind the casino has been blocked off for construction parking to build a nightclub.