Plaza continues its exciting evolution
The casino resorts of Downtown Las Vegas take various approaches in blending respect for tradition with contemporary guest expectations. The Plaza Hotel & Casino, at the westernmost edge of “Glitter Gulch,” gives guests a place to stay upstairs from events at its equestrian-based Core Arena as well as the neon carnival taking place across the length of Fremont Street. With a new comedy club, 100 newly upgraded Luxe Suites, and a new chef at the helm of its traditional steakhouse, The Plaza is also increasing the reasons for visitors to check in and spend more time at 1 Main Street.
Jamie Kennedy is this week’s headliner (Nov. 14-16) at The Comedy Works, coming in the wake of runs by Tom Green and Nick Di Paolo. Kennedy, best known for supporting roles in the Scream slasher-film franchise and for pranking television series The Jamie Kennedy Experiment, divides his time between film work and stand-up nowadays. Having cut his teeth in front of tough crowds in the comedy clubs of his Philadelphia hometown, Kennedy’s seasoned stage work may surprise people who associate him with improv and acting, and he’s skilled in the ways of handling hecklers.
The Comedy Works opened in September, so it will be brand new to National Finals Rodeo attendees who prefer to stay at The Plaza for its equestrian facilities and services downstairs from their suites. Two outdoor arenas and 200 stalls make it ideal for an NFR stay in December, and it’s the official NFR Junior World Finals Host Hotel with youth-focused events at Core, such as qualifying competitions in roping and steer wrestling.
While Core Arena hosts equine events year-round, it also serves as a destination for fans of extreme motorsports and zombie killing. Every Wednesday in September guests board a jacked-up bus and destroy the undead during the weekly Zombie Rampage Paintball Hunt, while the Monster Truck Insanity Tour invaded the arena in May and Stirrin’ Dirt Racing’s inaugural Casino Battle Royal Demolition Derby took place in March. Stirrin’ returns Nov. 14 for the three-day Sin City Showdown, featuring 32 four-man teams, 128 old Detroit cars and a symphony of crunching metal.
The Plaza is also the location of the annual Las Vegas Pickleball Open in September, and keeps its poolside pickleball courts open year-round. It’s the perfect place to learn about the rapidly growing sport, a hybrid of tennis, badminton and ping-pong that has absolutely nothing to do with briny cucumbers.
Not much call for pickles at Oscar’s Steakhouse either, due in part to an appetizer menu featuring Johnny Quinn’s Crab Cake, Izzy M’s Fried Calamari, Charlie Moose’s Thick Cut Grilled Bacon with jalapeño honey and No Nose’s Mob Meatballs. Former Las Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman celebrated his 80th birthday at his namesake restaurant in July, which recently welcomed Ben Jenkins as its new executive chef. Jenkins served as executive chef for several Michael Mina restaurants in Vegas before opening a Mina restaurant in Waikiki. Returning guests to Oscar’s may be surprised to find new additions to the menu during the next year along with old favorites that pair perfectly with Goodman’s beloved martinis.