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I miss the Western.. Your best memories?

Discussion in 'Downtown Hotels & Casinos' started by Mr.Paul, Apr 23, 2015.

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  1. Mr.Paul

    Mr.Paul Tourist

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    My upcoming stay at the D has me reminiscing about trips past and one of the best nights I ever had was when two of my buddies and I decided to do some ghetto gambling back during the summer of 11'. We started off at the Cortez and after witnessing five cops tackle a guy to the ground and arrest some nutcase outside the joint(I have this on video), we made our decent to the W.

    Once inside my buddy and I started playing the nickle slots while my other friend hit the tables. The waitress came along to me and I ordered a drink, she must have been 85 years old, reminded me of my grandma. She was so old I felt bad that she had to be serving drinks.. gave her a five dollar tip for one drink. Having lost my grandmother a year prior her overjoyed reaction(you could see everyone else not even giving her a nickle) almost broke my heart. Having had enough of that, I went over to the bar. I pulled out a twenty dollar bill to pay for a drink when the person next to me and warned me that I shouldn't be pulling that out around here.. lol. Just as that happens my friend hits a nickle jackpot of about ten dollars. The clamor of a hundred nickles hitting the tray at once sends a lot of the locals in a flurry as they start heading to the machine in hopes of a hand out. I quickly threw my drink in a to go cup at the security desk, my friend grabbed whatever nickels he could and we hightailed it out. Great times. We ended up going to the Goldspike after that, don't remember staying long.
     
  2. Drambler

    Drambler High-Roller

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    I remember going there and for some reason a few rows of slots were covered in trash bags. I guess they were out of order. They seemed to only serve beer in cans. We were playing the high limit $5 table and the guy next to me had three teeth. He was pretty loaded and I couldn't understand a thing he said.

    The dealer was some young Russian guy who didn't speak English. He made a mistake paying me. I pointed it out and the pit boss started really yelling at him. It made me feel bad. Even the can of beer didn't help.

    We used to always do the Wynn to the Western trip. At the Wynn we'd tell the guy hailing cabs we wanted to go to the Western. We usually got "No you don't!"
     
  3. Snidely

    Snidely VIP Whale

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    I was only there once. I was causing some trouble at the Gold Spike late one night trying to buy a T-shirt and they threatened to wake the security guard. I could tell I wore out my welcome. My wife and I high tailed it out of there and walked to the Western about 1 or 2am. Holy crap. What a bunch of chain smoking characters in there. We didn't last long there before it was apparent we stuck out and weren't welcome. It's one thing to have the clientele sneer at us but when the employees join them it's time to go. I can dress down and mumble and fit in with the crowd there but my wife is much too beautiful and bright eyed to make the adjustment.
     
  4. shifter

    shifter Degenerate Gambler

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    My best memory was the day it was imploded.

    * still waiting
     
  5. kingpasty

    kingpasty High-Roller

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    It wasn't imploded. Still standing just vacated. If you never went there you truly missed a side of Vegas that is all but gone. Yes there were bums, but there was something so genuine about the place that kept me and my friends coming back. The employees there really cared about their jobs and their customers, and it showed. Not all of us can play at the level you can Shifter, and it was one of the few places I ever really felt like I mattered to the staff.
     
  6. kingpasty

    kingpasty High-Roller

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    We got a limo to pick us up after eating at Sinatra @ Encore.

    Me: "Take me to the liquor store...cruise the strip for a while and end up at the Western."

    Limo Driver: "You mean the WESTIN?"

    Me: "No, the Western."

    Limo Driver: "You been there before?!?!?"
     
  7. TIMSPEED

    TIMSPEED !địt mẹ!

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    I unfortunately never visited the Western...but I'd put Cal-Neva in Reno up against it, any day!
     
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  8. ruralhipster

    ruralhipster Low-Roller

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    I miss the walk from the el Cortez down to the Western. One day I walked down after lunch at the Elco (never be hungry at the Western) and decided to jump start my day with a shot and a beer. I think it was $2.50 or 3 bucks. I was playing penny slots and must have been doing well (left wallet in room, took about 100 buck in small bills, a room key and a photocopy of my ID) I must have knocked back several cans of beer (I can't remember the brand but it wasn't Shlitz, Colt 45, or Zima since the conversation with the cocktail waitress went like this:
    "What can I get ya?"
    "I'll have a beer"
    "What type?"
    "Shlitz?"
    "Nope"
    "Colt 45?"
    "Try again"
    "how about a Zima then?" (at this time I hadn't seen a Zima in at least 2 or 3 years)
    At this she just walked away but to her credit came back 5 minutes later with a can of beer of some normal domestic brand and I gave her a buck.

    Honestly I had fun low-rolling and drinking in a crowd that ranged from destitute to solidly middle class, and 80-100 bucks lasted for a good few hours and quite a few drinks.

    I miss afternoons at the Western, I never visited at night but by the last few years it was in business the walk wouldn't have even been that scary.
     
  9. alanleroy

    alanleroy Tourist

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    From a December 2011 Trip Report...Less than a month before it closed.

    "First visit to the Western in all my years traveling to Vegas. Hmmm. What a peculiar smell....kind of like a blend of Stale Cigarette Smoke, Vomit and Industrial Chemicals. 6/5 blackjack...HERE??…you gotta be kiddin’ me."

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2015
  10. zolar31

    zolar31 Low-Roller

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    [video=vimeo;35557956]https://vimeo.com/35557956[/video]
     
  11. northerngirl

    northerngirl Low-Roller

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    My group (two sisters and son) tried to make a trip there once every other trip or so. I always made sure I used the restroom at the Cortez before getting there. The last time the group went (always during the day), we all played craps for 3-4 hours off $10 each at the $1.00 craps table. Only one other player was at the table who didn't look like he had a pot to piss in. He generally had $300-$400 on the table at a time. For some reason, he kept trying to hit on me. Of course, my son thought this was hysterical and did all he could to encourage the romance. Probably not a place for everyone, but we always enjoyed a visit and the interesting characters.
     
  12. kingpasty

    kingpasty High-Roller

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    I watched this again just now. What a great movie (video whatever). It really captures what The Western was. Just like our kids will never know what a regular phone was, or how to write a check....new visitors to Vegas will never know what The Western was. For true Vegas enthusiasts, The Western was the last of it's kind and a real taste of old Vegas. It's easy to say the joint should've been closed/imploded, but for the people in this video it was a big part of their lives. I wonder where they've migrated? El Cortez maybe? I always visit the El Co and will on my next stop for sure....no doubt one day it will meet the same fate I'm afraid. I'm so glad we got up the guts to walk down to The Western and find out what it was all about. Yes the blackjack odds sucked. And yes, the bathroom smelled like Big Foot's dick. But the PEOPLE were what made it (for me) a must go every trip.
     
  13. johnvic

    johnvic VIP Whale

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    I've never been to the Western but watching that video makes me sad that there is so much Vegas that I have missed.
     
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  14. airball1996

    airball1996 High-Roller

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    Went there a few times, the last being the most memorable.

    We played blackjack at their $2 minimum table. But, if you bet $5 or more, a blackjack paid 6:5. Anything less than that, and it was even money. During that session, I doubled down on a blackjack (since it wasn't going to pay anything extra), and won. I also split 10's three times, with four hands in play before the dealer busted. Good time, and likely the only time I'll ever do that at a blackjack table.
     
  15. Mr.Paul

    Mr.Paul Tourist

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    Do they still keep the Western sign illuminated?
     
  16. joshrocker

    joshrocker VIP Whale

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    We made one trip down there several years ago. I asked one of the Fremont security guards where the Western was and he said "You don't want to go down there". I started laughing and he finally pointed in the right direction. The walk down was interesting. I had one friend who kept staring at any oddity we saw along the way. I thought he might get us killed. I swear we saw a drug deal going down and hookers either working a potential client or discussing things with their pimp. When we finally arrived we sat a the $1 blackjack table (they were still paying 3/2 those days). I sat next to a guy who looked like he was probably homeless. He started telling me tales of him playing for hundreds of thousands of dollars on the strip...just the night before. And now here he was playing $1 blackjack at the Western. I played into his story and never called him out on any of it. It was a memorable experience.

    I was honestly afraid to make the walk back down there ever again. I may have done it during the day time but I never walked past the El Co after that one visit. My friends wanted to kill me for dragging them down there. They didn't seem to appreciate the experience as much as I did...:rolleyes2:
     
  17. Morpheus7272

    Morpheus7272 Low-Roller

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    I loved the Western and I miss it! After discovering the place, we'd go there at 3 PM and play at their $1 craps table for awhile, then go have dinner at 4Q, Cal or MSS. After dinner, we'd head back down and get back on the table until they closed it at 11 PM. Then the fun would begin -- we'd haul ASS back to the El Cortez and then back under the canopy....exhilarating!! That craps table was so much fun though, and $20-40 would often last for hours.

    My only regret is not having the courage to go all the way to Atomic Liquors before they spruced up the area. Now it's renovated and probably not the same :(
     
  18. TFK

    TFK High-Roller

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    Karaoke at the Western. It was everything you'd expect it to be.

    I can't tell you how many nights, at the end of the night, our last stop would be the Western. The staff, believe it or not, was always friendly and really appreciative of any tips you gave them. Tipping a buck a drink would have them falling all over themselves to get you a drink. Never saw a dealer there that understood or spoke English. Saw some epically bad dealing there. There was an older lady pitboss who was always there at night...want to say her name was Shirley...she was awesome. Just a nice lady who always made us laugh and always was in a good mood in spite of her surroundings.

    TFK
     
  19. merlin

    merlin VIP Whale

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    I had many memorable times at the western, I remember being in there late one night, playing BJ, I looked around and it was pretty clear that everyone in the place was drunk, high, or something else,(even the casino employees had the red glassy eye look), there was always alot of police activity around, One time the cops pulled up just outside and "talked" to some guy on the street, they ended up cuffing him and taking him away, the pit boss yelled to one of the dealers that they "just hauled jimmy off", i remember making a $10 bet and having the dealer yell out "checks play", I remember their real penny slot machines and the customers sitting there for hours with a tray of copper pennies, their hands just black from feeding them in each spin(since each win was spit out into the tray).

    The walk to and from was always exciting, nice ladies always asking how I,m doing ,other friendly guys just standing there asking me if I'm looking for anything?

    I remember the big promotion they had going where they had a giant sign hanging there announcing a "free $10 sears card with every $100 jackpot"...oh boy.

    Yup, the late night gold spike/ el-cortez/western run was always fun. I do miss it.
     
  20. chef

    chef Resident Buffetologist

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    While running the 2012 Las Vegas Marathon, I took a slight detour from the downtown portion of the course and did a lap through the Western. Thought it would shake things up, but wasn't even noticed.
     
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