Downtown's Plaza Gets a Facelift

It was only 11 years ago that then-Las Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman advocated the implosion of the city’s downtown Plaza Hotel & Casino. Yet today, following extensive renovations in 2010 and 2011 and recent management changes, it has recaptured its former glory,
culminating in the opening of a multimillion-dollar new rooftop pool experience this summer.

“The new rooftop pool will offer guests a modern poolside destination downtown that still reflects the Plaza’s classic Vegas ambience,” said Plaza CEO Jonathan Jossel.

Built in 1971, the Plaza Hotel & Casino marries vintage Rat Pack attitude to decidedly modern styling and amenities.

Its 1,003 guest rooms and suites are renovated with custom-designed Mark David furnishings complemented by upscale contemporary fittings acquired from the bankrupt “Fontainebleau Resort Las Vegas” project on the Strip.

The Plaza boasts more than 500 slot machines in its 80,000-square-foot casino, a 500-seat classic Vegas showroom hosting nationally acclaimed entertainment and a variety of dining venues led by Oscar’s Beef-Booze-Broads steakhouse (named, ironically, for the famously larger-than-life Goodman) in the landmark glass dome overlooking the Fremont Street Experience. Its 75-screen race and sports book is downtown’s largest.

Since taking over as CEO of Plaza operators PlayLV a year ago, Jossel has enacted numerous changes at the property. At 32, he’s one of the youngest nonrestricted gaming licensees in Las Vegas and he has injected a youthful energy and inspiration that has palpably improved the Plaza’s financial picture.

For example, in the first quarter of 2016, the Plaza Hotel & Casino has experienced a year-over-year increase of 17.3% in gaming revenue and a 20.2% increase in hotel revenue.

Jossel revamped the Plaza’s casino operations by upgrading video poker, focusing on bingo and improving table game odds.

Extensive renovations of the Plaza’s 70,000-square-foot rooftop pool deck began in January, including the addition of new cabanas, daybeds, dining areas, bars and greenery, and resurfacing of the deck itself.

“In addition to comfortable and fun new poolside amenities, we will offer guests live entertainment, gaming and a full menu of food and beverage options,” Jossel said. “We will create a pool experience unlike any other in downtown Las Vegas that our hotel guests and locals will love.”

The Plaza plans to celebrate the pool’s grand opening during the Fourth of July weekend, though guests who show up in June will get to enjoy it even sooner.


— By Paul Rogers, LA Times Content Solutions

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