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smokiness of the downtown casinos

Discussion in 'Downtown Hotels & Casinos' started by Ace-n-Lucille, Apr 2, 2016.

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  1. Ace-n-Lucille

    Ace-n-Lucille Tourist

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    Planning our trip (probably October) and have decided that Downtown, for various reasons, would suit us just fine. (We'll do "daytrips" to the Strip.) I'm a smoker, Ace is a non-. And in spite of him living with my smoking for 40 years (though I smoke outside the house nowadays), there have been times at various local casinos that the "smokiness" has bothered him. The casino itself, not our room, is what I'm talking about. So wondering: are the older downtown casinos really noticeably smokier than those on the strip?

    I imagine the newer strip casinos have more state-of-the-art air filtration systems (or whatever it is they do), but I'd also imagine that ALL the casinos do their best at the air filtration.

    Is this something I should maybe consider in my decision on where to stay? I'm leaning toward Downtown in general, and the Cal in particular, for our trip.

    Thanks!
     
  2. reen1962

    reen1962 Low-Roller

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    We frequent downtown even though most times we stay on the strip. That being said, I don't notice any difference between the strip and downtown when it comes the smoke. Yes, it's there, but not noticeably stronger one place or the other. He should do fine. I also am sensitive to the smoke. I'm going to bring my nose rinse this time and hopefully help my nasal passages.
     
  3. Electroguy563

    Electroguy563 Over-Fried Gambler

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    The Downtown casinos are more prone to smokiness since their buildings are quite old and don't have sophisticated air filtration systems like the newer resorts on the strip and elsewhere.

    But it doesn't seem as bad nowadays as say, 10 years ago.

    Maybe a lot of the smokers died or quit. Smokers in casinos nowadays are not as prevalent as previous years. It doesn't seem to be the "in" thing to do now.
     
    Going to Hawaii's 9th Island!!
    Going to Hawaii's 9th island!!
  4. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Low-Roller

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    Though they are smokier, a lot of the downtown casinos have one side open to the street, which helps.
     
  5. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    People converting to "vaping" has helped a bit lately as well.

    Generally I think DT is more smoky than the strip. Lower ceilings and less advanced ventilation systems. But overall it's only really bad if someone just decides to light up next to you.
     
  6. MGinCO

    MGinCO Low-Roller

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    Coming from CO non-smoking casinos......
    I almost died when I walked into MSS last time...the smoke was soo bad.
    It took me a day to get "used to it".
     
  7. Funkhouser

    Funkhouser In Charge of the Big Door

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    My wife an I are non smokers who came from a family of smokers. Besides my fear of cancer from second hand smoke, cigarette smells really bothers us (allergies) so we avoid casinos with ventilation problems.
    That being said, here are places downtown and the strip we avoid due to cigarette smoke issues when busy:

    The D (when busy you can get choked out of this place. I ALWAYS run into smokers at long bar as well)
    Four Queens (tightly packed machines and low ceilings)
    La Bayou
    Binnons
    Circus Circus ( besides the dirty machines, you might as well be puffing on a pack of camels yourself)
    Harrahs (only when there's a heavy crowd)
    Ballys (In the evening when the tables are full its like sitting in an ashtray, you will wake up with an irritated throat)
    TI (Parts of the casino when the ceiling is low can be bad)
    Casino Royale

    Best Casinos for Non Smokers

    Downtown Grand (Never had an issue however the casino has never been 'packed')
    Golden Nugget (Good ventilation)
    Plaza (Never noticed it unless someone was puffing next to me and blowing in my direction)
    The California

    Aria (high ceiling, great ventilation and scented air means I never notice smokers)
    Caesar Palace (Never notice smokers except in low ceiling table area)
    Linq (They fixed all the ventilation issues that the IP had)
    Paris (High ceilings and good ventilation)
    Mandalay Bay (The casino is so huge and ventilation so good you never notice)
    Wynn (Steve made sure the casinos aren't smokey)
     
  8. blissfulignoramus

    blissfulignoramus Low-Roller

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    I think the main factors are crowds and ceiling height/head space. Older places will tend to have less head space. I'm sure the quality of the air handling system has something to do with it too, but my guess is it's mostly the number of people smoking packed into the smallest volume.

    Also, the national trend is that people with money have quit smoking at high rates, while people with low incomes have not. Now, that doesn't mean that trend is as true among Vegas visitors, but I think I see far fewer people smoking in the high end casinos than there used to be.

    I will say that on a very crowded weekend a couple of years ago, I was pretty overwhelmed by the smoke in the Golden Nugget casino. Of course, I was mostly sitting in the sports book, which has a pretty low ceiling, and you could barely move because of the crowd.

    The nice thing about downtown is that even if there's a lot of smoke, you can be outside in the fresh air in a couple of minutes. Okay, calling the Fremont Street Experience "fresh air" might not be accurate, but you get what I'm saying.

    I used to be a social smoker who would smoke in Vegas, but I haven't done that in years. The smoke doesn't bother me unless it's really extreme though, and I always feel like I can leave a place if it's bad. In fact, it's part of the charm of Vegas for me. I love El Cortez, which would belong on Funkhouser's not-so-great-for-non-smokers list above, and I can't imagine the atmosphere there without the smoke, and the patina of 70+ years of its toxic residue.
     
  9. Krh2o

    Krh2o MIA

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    If the smoking smell is an issue, don't stay downtown. The places are run down, have low ceilings, and crappy ventilation.
     
  10. prodaddy

    prodaddy Tourist

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    The 4Q and El Cortez just about killed me this last month with heavy smoke.
     
  11. NickPapageorgio

    NickPapageorgio OG of the Sal Sagev Hotel

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    Run down? The D, Golden Nugget and Downtown Grand are gorgeous. You're generalizing. Downtown properties are undoubtedly smokier but they are no longer rundown. Not long ago I would have agreed with you, but it's just not accurate anymore.

    Before we get into a justification of what rundown means, the Las Vegas Club was rundown. The Boardwalk was rundown. Portions of Circus Circus are rundown. The GN and DTG are renovated with strip quality amenities. Are they as plush as the 5 stars on the strip? Hell no, but they are equally far from being rundown.

    Nick:beer:
     
  12. Electroguy563

    Electroguy563 Over-Fried Gambler

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    The Cal is my home casino. Seems it's not as smoky as it once was. Reason? Not sure but I have some theories:

    The smokers died.

    They upgraded the air filtration system.

    Cigarettes cost too much per pack now so now they vape or quit.

    The smokers went to 4 Queens and Fremont.
     
    Going to Hawaii's 9th Island!!
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  13. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

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    None of them are horrible... although, the worst ones are probably 4-Queens, the Nugget & the Fremont.
    I think the Plaza, MSS, Cal, DTG & 'theD' are no worse than most strip properties.... Golden Gate, being as small as it is, can get a bit rough at times - and the Nugget - for whatever reason - seems to be worse than one would think, given the casino size and (relatively) high ceilings.

    The El-Co is in a catgory of its own...blissful nailed it pretty well in his post... I'm one of those who also loves the El Co, including the Vegas-unique smell of the place...it's like stepping into a time machine when you walk in, and its suddenly the early 60s...you half expect to see Don Draper & Roger Sterling playing blackjack there...

    Full-disclosure: I was a smoker for 40 years...I quit a couple of years back, but I still smoke when I gamble... and only when I gamble... smoking seems to go with Vegas, drinking & gambling much the same as how milk goes with Oreos.
    :beer:
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2016
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  14. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    Just a warning, they are currently renovating the casino at the Cal, right now they closed off the area near the west tower elevators and the area where the roulette table was. They still need to renovate the area by the bj tables. Hopefully by October (when you go on your vacation) they will be completed with the 1st floor renovations but then they will be renovating the 2nd floor area after that.

    I think the "smokiness" also depends on how enclosed the areas are. At the Fremont by the .25 WOF machines (near the casino cage) the area is very smoky (if there are smokers) because there isn't much air circulation there. There are many machines bunched into the area so it can get a little unbearable if you aren't a smoker. Areas in the 4 queens are similar, not as much circulation and machines bunched together.

    El Cortez is notorious for being a smokers paradise so you may want to avoid that casino.

    The Cal is one of the better casinos because there is some walking space between the rows of machines to allow air to circulate and dissipate the cig smoke. Same thing with the Plaza, also because of the higher ceilings and rows of machines not being as close to each other the cig smoke doesn't linger as much as other casinos.

    The strip casinos have higher ceilings to allow air to circulate better and cig smoke to draft upwards instead of hanging around.
     
  15. Ace-n-Lucille

    Ace-n-Lucille Tourist

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    Thanks so much for all the replies/opinions. I feel like I have a better "sense" of what we might run into in the various casinos.

    I still think Downtown is the venue for us. If any particular casino is too smoky for Ace, well then it's easy enough downtown to just pop down the street and try another. Not near so easy to do on the strip. (our walking ability(ies), or lack thereof, is one of the reasons I'm leaning toward Downtown.)

    Makikiboy: yeah, I've been anxiously following all threads and news of the Cal's renovation, now that I've zeroed in on it as my first choice - and hoping that by October they would be done with all the casino refurbishment at least.

    And P.S. Funkhauser: your "smokiness assessment" was invaluable. Thank you!
     
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