We headed to Suncoast casino over the weekend to check out their Football Viewing Parties. Watching at home is fine, but it’s not as much fun as having others to cheer with when your team makes that critical first down or runs in for a TD. It’s also nice to have friendly ears listening when you think something needs to be said about the way a play was called. (Not as big a problem now that the “real” refs have returned.)
Plus, you can’t beat the giant TV screen along with the numerous smaller screens showing multiple games. And, there’s a convenient betting station so you can back up your opinions with a wager or two.
What makes the Viewing Parties, held in the showroom (which is at the opposite end of the casino from the sports book), even better is the ban on smoking. As far as we know, all sports books allow smoking, although many put the kibosh on cigars. And, yes, casinos have wonderful air filtering systems. But those of us who don’t smoke can still find it unpleasant, so the no smoking was an extra treat for us.
The cocktail waitress makes regular rounds, bringing drinks for just $2 each. Or, if you prefer you can go to any casino bar (there’s one outside the showroom) and the price is the same – $2 for any drink at all casino bars. There is also a convenient food stand set up right outside the room during the Viewing Parties. It features foot-long hot dogs, chili and chicken wings.
It was a fun afternoon and our team won, which made it even more fun.
SMART MOVE: Longtime Las Vegas resident and avid horse player Hal Crecy tells us he thinks Michael Gaughan, top gun at the South Point casino, made a smart buy when he put his ads on the TVG television network.
“If you want to reach horse racing bettors that’s the place to be,” Crecy said. “Michael is a smart man; he knows how gamblers think and where to find them.”
ONE TO WATCH: Add our congratulations to Northern Nevada casino owner Mike Pegram and partners as their top-notch two-year old filly Executiveprivilege romped Saturday in her final Breeders’ Cup prep.
The $650,000-yearling-purchase is clearly the best two-year-old filly in California and will be taking on all comers in the Juvenile Filly race at the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Nov. 2 and 3 at Santa Anita. She’s a definite Pick Six single.
Pegram, 60, owns the Carson Valley Inn in Minden, a quaint little town of about 3,000 not far from the pristine waters of Lake Tahoe, and Bodines Casino in Carson City, the capital of our great state and also just a short ride from Lake Tahoe.
TRAFFIC REPORT: As we navigated around town over the weekend, we were pleased to see the excellent usage of those new I-15 signs alerting motorists to traffic problems ahead.
We’ve never totally trusted those radio reports that often advise us to avoid certain intersections because of accidents or roadwork. The warnings were sometimes not current and could steer traffic away from accidents that had already been cleaned up.
Now with cameras all over the interstate system and large signs that can be updated by remote control, real time traffic information can be relayed to us as we travel.
We even noticed a warning Saturday and Sunday for our California visitors to avoid the major bridgework in Los Angeles County that closed the I-405 between the 101 and 10 freeways for the weekend. It was a helpful reminder for our Southern California customers and friends heading home.
Anything that makes the drive back and forth more pleasant has to be good for business and applauded.
HARD TO FIND: A difficult place to find is often well worth the trouble to find it. One such place in Las Vegas is Our Families Country Café near the Mountain’s Edge development in the southwest valley. They serve a great country-style breakfast at their 10591 South Rainbow Boulevard location and are also open for lunch and dinner.
The problem is the restaurant and The Bounty tavern next-door have a Rainbow address but are not accessible from Rainbow. To get there you have to take Buffalo Drive south to Cactus Avenue and turn left, heading east on Cactus to the dead end, which is Rainbow.
This might seem strange in any other city, but during the building boom in Las Vegas streets were put together in a patchwork fashion to accommodate developers. Eventually, when enough land was developed, all the pieces would connect. But when the economy tanked and development stopped a few years ago places such as Our Families were left isolated.
If you are in the area give it a try. But if you use your phone or vehicle navigation system to find this hidden gem, be careful. The software might not recognize that the road is unfinished.
See you around town.
Eileen DiRocco is the owner and publisher of GamingToday, the bible for gaming news “you can bet on.” Contact Eileen at [email protected].