SLS Opening

August 23, 2014
SLS opened to the public at midnight, August 23, 2014. Frank and I have attended nearly all the casino openings since we've been living in Vegas. Wynn's opening was tricky because I had a broken ankle, but still we made it. We rented a wheel chair and Frank pushed me all around the property for a first glimpse. Unfortunately, my mom hasn't been well and we had another stint in the hospital. So, I thought I might miss this one. But she was released on Thursday, and she is currently staying with me, I had my brother come look after her so Frank and I could continue our tradition. It was the first new casino opening since the Cosmopolitan in 2010. Yes, I know Cromwell just opened a short bit ago after closure of Bill's, but there was no ownership change. We knew to expect the same product with a new look.

I've been very impressed with the exterior of SLS. And projects I personally work on, grow dear to me and I'm always extra excited to see them debut. SLS was no exception. Usually, I'm on top of construction news and updates, but my attention has been else where for the past few months so I really knew very little about the final touches of the property. I heard some rumblings that is was Cosmo jr or Cosmo North. I was eager to see for myself.

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We arrived just shy of eleven o'clock, the line to enter was already building and it quickly grew once we took our spot in line. Employees signed up those interested in joining the Code player's club while we waited. Camera crews came by and took interviews. A few minutes before midnight fireworks forming S L S exploded over the porte cochere. A large display followed but we could only see the reflection in the high rise across the street from our vantage point. That was a bit disappointing, but we figured we'd be among the first inside (besides invited guests). It was nearly ten minutes passed twelve before the line started to move. And as soon as we approached the doors. We were halted. Random people walked right in from valet. I guess we were the dumb ones for waiting in line. Soon after, we finally entered the glass doors.

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The main entrance has a bright light up floor, mirrored walls and ceiling that seemed to be a favorite place for selfies.

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The bar is the focal point of the casino with a eye catching screen overhead.

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The uniforms for the bar staff came off as slobbish to me. Who knew, I was a stickler for neat appearance?

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And I couldn't help but notice the floors. It looks like they were already significantly worn, but maybe that was intended? It does fit with the industrial feel (unfinished ceilings, etc).

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We made our way into the casino floor and tried our luck on video poker. The first bank of machines weren't accepting bills. The second accepted our cash and promptly burned it away. A cocktail waitress did take our drink order, and in all honestly, we didn't expect her to return. But she did. I was happy to have Stella as an option, I'm not a fan of domestics but so often you're not given a choice of an import.

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We liked the feel of the Umami Burger and Beer Garden. Home to the Sportsbook operated by William Hill. The beer garden offers a patio open to Las Vegas Blvd. I felt this was a highlight of the property. From the casino floor you can view the keg storage. Got beer?

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The restaurants line the walls. I was surprised how much smaller the casino floor felt compared to the Sahara. All restaurants are easily accessible, but the layout kind of had a food court feel.

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The table games offered limits from $10, what was particularly striking were the dealer's uniforms. They had monkeys or baboons on their back. Not sure of the intent, there, but it seemed odd. In the casino biz it's been said that execs don't value employees enough and think that monkeys could do their job. This seemed to portray that in the most literal sense. That was my take away, anyway. That or that they have a monkey on their back, not necessarily the best depiction for a business that provides habit forming services (like gambling and drinking). I'm sure it is meant to be playful in nature; there is a heavy monkey theme throughout the property. Someone will have to explain that to me...

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The artwork around the casino is peculiar and graffiti has a strong presence. Casino carpet is a weird blend of colors, shapes, graffiti and photographs. Walls are adorned with strange choices, more monkeys and odd details like random eyes and angel wings.

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The back hall that leads to the hotel rooms and monorail is very dark. The oddities continue. Near the jewelry store, I was completely caught of guard when I was recognized from my blog. I don't know if I were too sleep deprived or too stunned to properly grasp the notion; I apologize for the lack of proper introduction. However, I want to thank you for saying hello and for your well wishes for my mom. It was very sweet!

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The player's club looked a bit cheesy and generic.

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Near all exits were booths to leave your drink, reminding you to sip your liquor slowly.

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We spent an hour on property. Valet remained closed and there was still a lengthy line of those eager to gain access.

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Overall, I think SLS is unique. It will be like the Cosmo because the clubs and restaurants will be the draw. I do not envision anyone making the trip to SLS simply to gamble. I'm clearly not hip or cool enough to get the concept, I might even be too old. But I will give SLS props, the final product was unexpected.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Kellee,
That would have been me that approached you at SLS. We were on our way out when I saw you at the jewellery store and decided to say hello.
I understand what you are writing about when you describe your mom and dealing with cancer. I'm a breast cancer survivor and can relate to everything you are facing. I guess that is why I stopped to say something when I saw you.
Be strong and hang in there.

Kellee said...

Again, thank you for your kind words. You definitely caught me by surprise, but I'm so happy you said hello. I love to hear from survivors it renews my hope. I'm glad you won your battle. It's an incredible fight. Take care!

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