A New Coast

Opening up the south end of the Strip

By: Kathy Espin

South Coast Hotel, Casino and Spa looks unfinished. That’s partly because it is. When the resort at the far south end of Las Vegas Boulevard (otherwise known as the Strip) opened in January, many of the public areas were still to be completed.

But that’s only part of the reason. The casino is huge 80,000 square feet but it looks even bigger because there are no decorative or architectural details to break up the space. No pictures, no plants, no hanging fixtures; nothing. The effect is clean and uncluttered but also a little plain vanilla. The atmosphere, however, is the opposite, with piped-in music competing with the din of the latest electronic gaming devices.

This is the way the locals like it and let’s keep in mind that this is a locals’ casino. The South Coast is a sister hotel to the Gold Coast and the Suncoast. Its parent company, Coast Casinos, recently merged with Boyd Gaming Corp. owners and operators of Sam’s Town and other popular locals’ hangouts. These folks know the formula for attracting Las Vegans, and they have not strayed far from the proven plan.

The rather barn-like casino is lined with your standard dining options. There’s the buffet, the 24-hour coffee shop, a Mexican cantina and an upscale Italian restaurant, along with an oyster bar, an ice-cream shop and a steakhouse. Throw in bingo, a movie theater, a bowling alley and a video arcade, and you have no reason for a resident of the nearby bedroom community of Henderson to go anywhere else.

However, there are a few surprises that are intended to attract visitors and locals alike. Opening early this spring will be the Costa del Sur spa with 20 treatment rooms, a landscaped pool and a whirlpool area.

Another unique feature will be the Equestrian Center, a 4,400-seat arena with, ac-cording to the press kit, “1,200 climate-controlled stalls” to ensure
a comfortable stay for all your clients, even if they happen to be horses. The arena, of course, is for rodeos, horse shows and other equestrian competitions.

Human clients will be well taken care of too. About half of the 1,350 guestrooms are complete and are spacious and comfortable. The standard room is big enough for the king-sized bed plus a sofa, dinette, desk and dresser, with plenty of walking-around room left over. The room has a 42-inch flat-screen TV and high-speed Internet access.

The bathrooms are also large, with the tub and toilet closed off and a big marble countertop and sink in the dressing area. The tub is standard size but offers a curved shower curtain for extra elbow room. Linen and toiletries are top quality and coffee service is available.

The view from most of the rooms is a lovely panorama of the nearby mountains and desert or a view of the Strip from a few locations, but clients who are into views will want to stay away from the lower floors on the west side of the tower. The view there is blocked by the 80,000-square-foot meeting and conference center.

The hotel offers 24-hour room service, and even on a busy weekend shortly after the grand opening, the breakfast service was quick and friendly as was all the service. Even checking in on a busy Friday night was fast and painless, but only half of the hotel rooms were open. The hotel lobby and front desk were an afterthought as they usually are in locals’ casinos. The front desk lines part of one wall of the massive casino, and the excuse for a lobby is a few upholstered chairs and couple of tables nearby.

Clients who come to Las Vegas for the swinging nightlife will not like the hotel location several miles from the heart of the action. Those who want a good value with great food and a good gamble will love the South Coast. It is just a few miles from McCarran Airport and there is free shuttle service to other Coast Casinos and Boyd Group properties.


South Coast Casino
9777 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, NV 89123

Room rates run from $79 per night for weekdays during off-peak times to $189 for peak weekend nights.

Commission: 10 percent