Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

May 3, 2006

Some Time at the Red Rock Resort

Posted by Hunter

I spent some time at Las Vegas' newest casino, Red Rock, this past Monday. Red Rock is owned by Station Casinos, Inc., who also operate Green Valley Ranch, Sunset Station and other properties in Las Vegas.

Click on through to read some observations and thoughts on the property and a link to my photos.

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For those that just want to see the pictures, they are located here:

Ok, so what is this place like? To put it simply, I was impressed. It's not perfect but it is leaps and bounds above any other Station property and nicer than many on the Strip as well.

From the outside you see exceptional landscape architecture, beautiful red flagstone and excessive use of pools and water features. The exterior of this place is drop dead gorgeous, just as nice or nicer than any Four Seasons, St. Regis or other luxury hotel brand I've seen in dozens of cities worldwide. I think if you look at the photos or visit the property, you will agree.

One thing that is carefully masked in Station's promo material - the hotel tower is half complete. The extra rooms they are adding at the end of the year are not in another tower but rather in another half of the current tower. This means that construction noise at the pool is pretty intense (and I would assume in some of the rooms).

The pool area is also very nice but smaller than I thought it would be based on other photos I'd seen. It's not all that large at all and doesn't have that 'endless' feel that GVR's pool area has due to the expansive Strip view. This spot is encircled by buildings.

Inside the casino are good and bad spots. The hotel lobby and reception area continue in the drop dead gorgeous style that adorns the outside of the resort. The walk into the lobby area features a huge two level open staircase with amazing chandeliers. This part of the resort is breathtaking, including the lobby and bar area.

The restaurants also look to have a fairly high standard of interior design with some interesting color choices. One of the innovative features of the resort is that much of the signage, including resort maps, restaurant menus, etc... are actually LCD displays, not static designs. This means the maps are animated and feature dynamic information about what they are describing. A neat touch I've not seen elsewhere, at least not used as extensively.

I had lunch at the 'Salt Lick BBQ' and really enjoyed it. A gigantic sandwich that was really awesome. I couldn't finish it but I wanted to.

The are some parts of the casino where the 'old Station' comes through. While some parts of the ceiling have crystal chandeliers, other parts have Mandalay Bay style cheesy plastic lights.

The sports books is huge with giant screens, just as large as any on the Strip. A nice thing for locals looking to watch Superbowls, NBA finals, etc...

Red Rock Station is an easy 20 minute drive from the Strip but the high quality of the place makes me want to take a night out, off the Strip and give it a try.

This report is fairly brief but I'm happy to entertain questions to the extent I can. I strongly advise you to look at the photos, they tell most of the story.


Read archived comments (10 so far)
May 3, 2006 11:30 PM Posted by mike_ch

I also have been there and quite liked it. The buffet breaks the tradition of making me sick like the buffets at Texas and GVR Stations have. The BBQ and Desert areas there are must-visit.

The casino, well, it's laid out rather more like a strip casino than a locals casino, everything is a lot less linear than the other stations.

Full-pay VP is available and brightly advertises itself, and there's a large Wheel machine by the cinemas that looks like some kind of brightly colored UFO that you'd expect to see at Toys R Us. It's the kind of thing you may not ever see on the strip because of the sheer amount of floorspace it takes up. It seems to be foreign to everyone else, too, since it gets a lot of attention. The chairs at each machine around the UFO are 2-person benches, and you'll have a lot of eyes watching you while you play.

The ceilings are nice and high but not super-high, and the circulation is *really* turned on making it feel like there's an actual breeze running past you a lot of the time. For rabid smoke-haters like myself, that's a plus!

Like at Wynn (which the only other place I've seen this kind of thing,) stand-up machines have foot rests underneath them. The chairs are also adjustable downwards and raise up to max height when you stand up.

Overall I thought it was a very nice place but just as important is maintaining it. Keeping flat surfaces clean of junk and taking out chairs with busted adjustments will become a bigger job as time goes on.

May 4, 2006 12:23 AM Posted by Mike E

Mike, I'm aware of the UFO-like machine you're talking about. I saw one at Barbary Coast my last trip and the noise it made was quite annoying to say the least. Must have a huge house advantage to take that much floor space.

Nice write-up, Hunter. Your pics are the best I've seen thus far and I can't wait to venture out there on my own one of these days.

May 4, 2006 12:53 AM Posted by MGK

"Mandalay Bay style cheesy plastic lights"?!... I don't remember seeing those while I was strolling through the place; I think those were the cylindrical and boxed shaped onyx chandeliers scattered throughout the casino floor.

May 4, 2006 8:01 AM Posted by Hunter

Specifically I'm talking about the apparent strategy of only putting the nice crystal chandeliers in the center part of the casino floor. IMHO they should be throughout and it seems like a cheap cost savings move.

May 4, 2006 9:04 AM Posted by detroit1051

The "UFO" WoF does take up a lot of real estate, but when I was at Red Rock, it was the only slot game that seemed like a group activity rather than something played in isolation. Since the huge wheel in the center spins in front of all players, it generates excitement, and I know IGT hopes, more players. Players got more vocal when two or more got to spin at the same time. It's a clever concept, but how many regular slots does it displace? Coin-in will determine its success. I wuz robbed! I never got to spin.

May 4, 2006 9:48 AM Posted by detroit1051

This week's Las Vdegas Business Press has an article on Friedmutter Group which was responsible for Red Rock's architecture, design and furniture:

Unrelated, the LV Business Press also has a good update on changes at Caesars Palace under the direction of Harrah's:

May 4, 2006 11:24 AM Posted by Hunter

Thanks Detroit.

I didn't mean to come off negative on RR. I really think it is a great place.

One thing that bothers me at hotels is an inconsistent application of quality. The Venetian is the worst at this and I think Red Rock suffers but only slightly.

Overall the place is great.

June 1, 2006 6:22 PM Posted by josh

I have been looking at renderings of the residences at the Red Rock as well as some of the construction pictures of the second tower. Is it true that both hotel towers will be directly connected to each other, with a hallway leading through both towers?
Was the public space for the second tower already constructed when the resort opened in April, or will there be more shops and restaurants when the second tower opens?
After visiting Red Rock twice and seeing all the quality and really amazing contemporary style, I'm quite disappointed about the fact that Station Casinos is not opening the mall.

June 2, 2006 7:43 AM Posted by Hunter

From what I saw, it looked to me like the 'second tower' was really just an extension of the first and that they broke construction up like that to save some time/money.

The towers will operate like one unit, yeah.

June 21, 2006 2:23 PM Posted by Mark

We stayed there for 5 nights. They put us in a room up against the construction of the new tower (couldn't tell at first since the hall ended at our room) which we found out the next morning sounding like you were in the middle of the workzone. Why they would even put anyone in the end rooms makes no sense to me. Has anyone seen a winner of any sizable jackpot on the slots?? Pretty quiet on that front. We wanted to see the pool when we first arrived in the later evening, but were told to stay out in a quite impolite way. Why bother turning on the pool lights if you can't go out there to see them?? Signage all over is poor. If you are new to the place, try finding the elevator! In the room, don't touch the tray of goodies unless you want one. Just lifting a box of candy sets off a sensor that automatically charges your room, whether you put it immediately back without opening or not. Again, no warning about that either. The pool is nice and the room is spacious, but I wouldn't recommend this place.