There is something about nostalgia that is pervasive in Downtown Las Vegas. It makes very little sense since the Rat Pack spent its time on the strip and the iconic resorts that have begun to disappear were all along Las Vegas Boulevard. That is until you look at the history of the glitter gulch and realize that this is the birthplace of the World Series of Poker and that oldest hotel in Las Vegas is right on Fremont Street.
Downtown Las Vegas is alive and well and while it may still not be shiny and new like the strip it offers so much to the Las Vegas visitor looking for different Vegas vacation. The El Cortez Hotel and Casino is right smack in the middle of a rejuvenated entertainment district and part of a resurgence that is making Downtown Las Vegas and the Fremont East district a must-see for visitors to Las Vegas.
Sleep. The rooms at The El Cortez vary from extremely budget friendly tower rooms to modern Designer suite spacious accommodations. The Pavilion rooms are so budget friendly you almost don’t believe the low price and the cabana suites, located in a separate building, are so modern and stylish that they almost feel like a boutique hotel experience in a hipster neighborhood. If you want to splurge consider the designer suites that showcase the talents of four local designers. You get a choice between the Hint Suite, Rec Room Suite, El Contempo Suite and the Big Sleep Suite.
See. You cannot hit Downtown Las Vegas and not take a walk down Fremont Street to take in the lights of the Fremont Street Experience. The large canopy of lights draws your eyes high above and the music fills your senses. Walk along Fremont Street and take in some live music on any of a number of stages or take a flight over the action on a zip line. Vendors crowd the space with trinkets and souvenirs and street performers keep the energy up and down the street. It’s not fancy but it is a sight to behold.
Eat. New York Pizza lovers will find a gem at Pizza Lotto inside the El Cortez Hotel. This outer borough style pizza is crispy on the edges but foldable along the middle. It is rich with red sauce and simple with just cheese. The dream snack is also available at Pizza Lotto with hand-rolled garlic knots that will cripple you with addiction. Buttery, garlicky and savory this is the wrong time to stay off of carbohydrates. While you are at the El Cortez you can indulge in Prime Rib and pastrami at Siegel’s 1941 or step outside and check nearby Carson Kitchen and EAT.
Explore. About a 5-minute walk from The El Cortez Hotel and Casino is the Mob Museum. This interactive exhibit delves into the history of organized crime and how it has played a role in U.S. History as well as the rise of Las Vegas as a popular tourist destination. Also nearby, The Downtown Container Park offers boutique shops for browsing and restaurant and bar options to round out your Las Vegas experience.