Plaza Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas unveils plans for smoke-free casino area, hints at future transformation

Plaza Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas unveils plans for smoke-free casino area, hints at future transformation

  • Buck Wargo, CDC Gaming Reports
June 14, 2022 10:41 PM
  • Buck Wargo, CDC Gaming Reports
  • Other

The Plaza Hotel & Casino Tuesday announced four projects to transform its Main Street facade and dome, including downtown Las Vegas’s first smoke-free casino area, and hinted that more is to come on acreage it owns south of the casino.


Courtesy of the Plaza

The latest projects are part of the Plaza’s remodeling its porte-cochere and facade for a cocktail area, a donut shop, and rooftop patio at Oscar’s steakhouse. The Plaza, which opened in 1971 and has undergone extensive renovations in recent years, has 1,000 rooms.

Construction is expected to begin later this month and be completed by the end of the year. The 80,000-square-foot casino and Oscar’s will remain open during the construction.

With fanfare that included Las Vegas showgirls, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, and her husband and former mayor Oscar Goodman, Plaza CEO Jonathan Jossel talked about the upgrades and additions downtown from the Arts District, convention space, and residential housing to improvements on the Fremont Street Experience that have created energy and made it a more attractive and popular destination. Circa Las Vegas across the street from The Plaza has helped boost downtown gaming revenue to record levels since it opened in late 2020 and owner Derek Stevens was in the audience to celebrate his friendly competitor.


Courtesy of the Plaza

“Derek and his team have helped pave the way for us to continue to make investments that we are announcing today and will continue to do in the future,” Jossel said. “We couldn’t be more excited about downtown Las Vegas and the direction it’s headed and of course Main Street and all of the wonderful things to come here over the next two years. We have a lot more frontage headed south and there will be a lot more of these celebrations.”

The Plaza has yet to announce plans for the former Greyhound bus terminal and adjacent parking, but is in discussions with developers. The casino is owned by the Tamares Group.

In May, Sand Dollar Downtown, the live music and craft cocktail venue adjacent to the casino floor, opened at the Plaza.

The four new projects include the Carousel Bar under the Plaza’s dome, a rooftop patio at Oscar’s steakhouse, and the Vegas-based Pinkbox Doughnuts, in addition to downtown’s first smoke-free social-media-friendly gaming area.

The nearly 2,500 square feet of gaming space will be for guests 21 and older and styled like the Plaza’s prior Studio 71 photo space, with backdrops for selfies, group shots, and Instagrammable moments.

The goal is to better accommodate social-media videos, with the Plaza controlling the music in the space by lowering the volume, turning it off completely, or playing only copyright-friendly songs that can be posted on social platforms.

“This isn’t just any casino floor space,” Jossel said. “This will be the first non-smoking casino downtown. It’s going to be Instagram-friendly. We welcome all YouTubers. It’s going to be sensory overload and all of the best slot machines.”

The slot area is being designed in partnership with social-media influencer Brian Christopher.

“We get more than five million unique viewers every month and that’s going to bring people here to the Plaza,” Brian Christopher told the audience watching the presentation. “Only 13% of the U.S. population smokes, so the Plaza is getting ahead of that curve.”

Jossel quickly responded that with the non-smoking casino area on the left and smoking casino on the right, they’ll be able to see if Christopher is right and smoke-free casinos are the “way of the future.”

What the Plaza is calling the centerpiece of its Main Street reimagination project will transform its porte-cochère under the dome into the Carousel Bar and offer an outdoor bar experience with moving carousel horses, spinning martini glasses, and an oversized deck of cards.

The 2,500-square-foot outdoor venue will include a cooling system and seating for nearly 100 guests in booths, at the bar, and along its outer rail that will overlook Main Street at the western entrance to the Fremont Street Experience.

“This will be a must-see and must-do attraction for downtown Las Vegas,” Jossel said.

Oscar’s patio, as part of the steakhouse named after former Mayor Goodman, will be created on the rooftop deck above the new gaming space and be accessible via the restaurant’s existing lounge. It will accommodate about 225 people.

“We think this will be a big hit,” Jossel said.

Through an entrance shaped like an oversized 3D doughnut with sprinkles on Main Street, Pinkbox Doughnuts will also be a new addition.

“We’re going to have a great time out here with cocktails, fun, gambling, drinks, milkshakes, and donuts,” Jossel said. “That really is the reimagination of Main Street.”