Big Renovation at Las Vegas Palms in Progress

Anthony Curtis’ nationally syndicated weekly column

Aug. 1, 2012

An ongoing renovation at the Palms is moving to the hotel rooms, where $12 million will be spent to upgrade all 428 rooms in the original Palms Tower. The project should be completed by September and a renovation of 253 rooms in the Fantasy Tower is expected to follow in 2013. Just completed was the transformation of the sports book into a new ultra-sleek version with an adjoining poker room. It’s also been announced that the Mexican restaurant Garduno’s is closing to make way for a new sports-themed restaurant called Heraea. The collective work done over the past year along with plans still on the drawing board adds up to $50 million in improvements to the 11-year-old resort.

New Sign: The former Las Vegas Hilton has a new marquee out front. The sign, which has been blank since the Hilton name came down earlier this year, now bears the resort’s new name, LVH.

New Name: The restaurant Stratta, which was named for Wynn Las Vegas’ former super-chef Alex Stratta, has finally been renamed. It’s now Allegro, which serves dinner and stays open for the late-night crowd till 6 a.m.

Lunch on the Strip: The high-end steakhouse Smith & Wollensky, located on the south Strip just north of the MGM, is running a strong deal called “Summer Social Hour.” On weekdays from 2 to 7 p.m., everything on the bar menu is buy-one-get-another. Big burgers, barbecued shrimp, crab cakes, and more average about $8 per on this offer and draft Fosters are $4. There’s a big parking lot in the back that eliminates the usual inconvenience of going to a Strip restaurant if you’re driving.

 Question: Is it true that casinos no longer allow betting on horse racing?

Answer: Contract problems between casino sports books and the company that provides the means for making the bets and watching the races threatened to curtail race betting completely last week. But both parties have agreed to a three-week extension at the last minute, so racing continues as the talks progress.

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