Binions to Leave Hotel to Ghosts of Vegas
The announcement was made today that Binion's Gambling Hall and Hotel will shut down its hotel operations effective December 15th. In addition to the hotel shutting down, the Coffee Shop restaurant and their Keno operations will also cease. All other casino operations will continue as normal.
The reason given for the shutdown is essentially the slowdown in the economy. However, for anyone that really knows anything about Vegas, and specifically Binions, this does not come as any sort of a shock.
Personally, I decided to make a brief stay at Binions this past summer. I had two set of comps to use at the Four Queens but I had to have a 3 day stint between my two comps. I found that Binions was offering a $21 per night room rate. I decided to jump on that and stay there.
The fact that I could stay in Vegas for $21 a night during June should have been a bit of a clue about the condition of the hotel. The hotel wasn't the worst I have ever stayed in, but if you were looking for something modernized, this was not the place to stay. The furniture looked like it had not been upgraded since the 70's. At first, I thought that maybe this was just a "retro" look. Then I opened the TV stand to find a TV from the 1980's. I then realized that this hotel had not been upgraded since Johnny Moss was winning Main Events.
The hotel was clean and the rooms were large, but there wasn't anything special about them. One thing that they did have was the "old Vegas" feel. Also, you were right above Fremont, so at night you had a "free stereo" from the Fremont Street Experience and associated bands that performed on the street.
A lot of people will miss the Coffee Shop. Besides the snack shop, the Coffee Shop was the only place that you could eat at for a reasonable price. I don't play Keno, so I won't miss Keno.
Over the last few years, Binions Hotel had received a reputation of being dumpy and having poor service. I never experienced the poor service side of things with them, but I could see where the other complaints came from. The hotel is in bad need of renovations.
I do slightly worry for the future of the casino. While the hotel was not a big draw, I think that with some renovations, it could become profitable. Their sister property, Four Queens, renovated a couple years ago and is a great place to stay. Binions closing will naturally funnel more people that way.
Of course, Binions is the former home of the World Series of Poker. Back when it was Binion's Horseshoe the property was consistently hopping with the biggest action in Vegas. Now, for the 2nd time in 5 years, at least part of the property is closing. The only things that will now roam the halls of the hotel are the ghosts of Stu Unger and other pros that made and lost Millions at Binions.