Saturday may be St. Patrick's Day, but it's been a pretty lousy week for the Irish in Las Vegas.
It was announced that O'Sheas Casino, a mid-Strip joint inspired by the Emerald Isle that had more of rowdy roadhouse feel to it than a refined gaming destination, will be closing its doors April 30.
With cheap beer — always on sale for $1 per cup — O'Sheas promoted its 24-hour happy hour that featured free concerts and other live entertainment.
It's one of the last Strip casinos to offer $5 blackjack tables.
The epicenter of the beer pong universe, O'Sheas offered daily tournaments that turned the building into a frat house. Forget lame elevator music — heavy metal was often the choice here.
The poker games were lively and easy to beat with plenty of intoxicated money on the tables between midnight and 5 a.m. The tables were located a mere 12 feet from the Las Vegas Boulevard sidewalk and provided an open-air view of the action.
It's safe to say that I was a fan of the place.
Whenever I go to Las Vegas, I prefer to stay at the Flamingo. It's a nice location with close proximity to the big-time poker action at the Bellagio, Caesars Palace and the Mirage. During the World Series of Poker, it's a cheap cab ride to the Rio, or you can get there free if you have the time to wait for a complimentary shuttle.
But the real highlight was O'Sheas, a stone's throw down the street and a great place to end your day.
Like so many other iconic casino properties, O'Sheas is a victim of the city's “out with the old, in with the new” mentality, even though it opened in 1989. Caesars Entertainment Corp., O'Sheas' owner, plans to create a self-contained entertainment district titled Project Linq.
The centerpiece to the development will be a 550-foot tall observation wheel that is projected to be the largest in the world upon completion.
It's probably going to be pretty cool and will immediately change the view of the Strip.
But bigger isn't always better.
Sin City already has miniature versions of New York City and Paris. It has artificial Venetian water canals with singing gondola drivers. It has opulence and jaw-dropping views behind every corner.
What it often lacks is personality and authenticity. O'Sheas was one of the few places on the Strip that provided that. This loss will be a major blow.
And while the news seems pale in comparison to the closing of O'Sheas, Fitzgeralds downtown casino was re-branded this week as “The D Las Vegas,” dumping the Irish theme as part of a $15 million renovation.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, CEO Derek Stevens wanted the property to reflect the resurgence of downtown gaming while also paying homage to his Detroit roots.
One of the focal points to The D is a 100-foot long bar, appropriately titled Longbar, that will be Nevada's largest at its launch. It has enough room for 15, 70-inch televisions on the wall behind it. http://www.mysanantonio.com/sports/columnists/article/Loss-of-a-Las-Vegas-little-guy-casino-isn-t-3407894.php#ixzz1pCNegSHk