Stayed four nights in Las Vegas as a birthday present for my son. He chose the D Las Vegas downtown, which I had stayed a year earlier on a solo trip when it was called Fitzgerald’s. (I also stayed there during its original incarnation as The Sundance.) We checked in on Monday, 10/08/12, just four days before The D’s grand opening on the weekend. Signs of continuing renovation were everywhere. New floors, moldings, signage, wallpaper, and the like were constantly being installed throughout our four night stay. The rooms were freshly renovated with new furnishings and décor. Our two queen bed room featured comfortable pillow-top mattresses and ample pillows. The in-room safe with a key was replaced by a new style one with the keypad entry. (It was inoperative when we arrived, but a call to the front desk brought quick response from engineering with a technician who got it working in short order.) Bathrooms were about the same as before with the exception of an operating drain this trip. (Sink stopper didn’t operate but, Hey, this is Vegas where there always seems to be something wrong with the plumbing in every room.) Shampoo and soap seemed to be of good quality. We’ll know for sure at Christmas when our relatives receive their “D Las Vegas Toiletry Collection” under the tree! Our request for a quiet room, while seeming to have been met by our placement on the 29th floor was proven to have been unmet once the evening’s entertainment began on the Third Street stage on Fremont Street. The constant thumping from the absurdly loud rock band on the stage made sleep restless until 2:00 AM on Monday and Tuesday nights. The fact that continuous rain covered Las Vegas on Wednesday and Thursday curtailed the entertainment on those nights, so sleep was sounder, thanks to the weather. The changes to the casino, itself were even more dramatic. The second floor has been converted to a “vintage” casino with old style coin machines and a rare Sigma Derby horse racing slot machine. Their modest size sports book shares the space, as does the revamped Vue Bar. It’s accessible via an outside escalator from Fremont Street. The first floor casino has been completely remodeled and makes a striking impact. The Long Bar lives up to its name and features plenty of bright hi-def TVs for watching sports or the ubiquitous ESPN broadcasts with the sound off. Even with the sound on, it would be nearly impossible to follow anything on the TV’s as the ear shattering sound of the 1st floor casino dominates everything there. They feature a non-stop loop of rap, dance, and auto-tune music at an ear-shattering level at all times in The D. Yes, the inevitable dancing, dealing “party pit” girls are a prominent feature now, and there’s no escaping the sound of the eternal thump, thump, thump soundtrack of the death march to hell. They’ve even put the dancing girls in the craps pit, where they are universally ignored by every crapshooter at the tables. It’s sort of a pathetic sight, IMHO. I will freely admit, in their defense, that the new owners have put plenty of effort and money behind their attempt to create the hotel of their imagining. It’s their capital and their right to run their business as they see fit. And they would certainly say something like, “We provide a gambling environment for a diverse clientele. Our vintage gaming area is an attempt to cater to those who value the “Old Las Vegas” aesthetic, and our exciting new vibe will appeal to the many new Vegas aficionados who find our party atmosphere to their liking.” Well, sure, Derek. It’s your money, not mine. But frankly, I won’t be gambling there much in the future. Being subjected to sonic torture and having to yell at your dealers to make my bets clear just isn’t my idea of a good time. And as to the hoochie-coochie girls in the craps pit: Morgan Fairchild could lay down on the table butt naked and the crapshooters would holler, “Hey! Lady! Get off the table! You’re messing up the hard way bets!” You can't really get them out of ther soon enough. For their own dignity! We weren’t able to eat at the American Coney Island stand at The D on their announced opening day. They were closed in order to cook for the media Grand Opening event. We did catch a bite on the first day it was open to the public and we weren’t disappointed. They have a limited menu of chili dogs and the like. The chili dogs were excellent and the French fries were about the best I’ve ever had. We will make a point of eating there again when we’re downtown.