Downscale, Irish themed Casino O'Shea's is the latest old-school-ish (the place has only been around since 1989 but seems to come from a much older era) Las Vegas den of iniquity to bite the dust in the name of progress, as the drunken girl has closed to make room for The Linq, a bazillion dollar, outdoor multi-media entertainment district that will feature one of the largest Ferris Wheels in the world, among other things. The Linq is a smart play for Caesars Entertainment, the company that owned and operated O'Shea's, but it wasn't until after the place closed that I realized how much I'd miss it. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, after all, and I guess the closing of the cheesily themed Casino has inspired in me a bout of Irish-style melancholy.
So let this post serve as a drunken wake to the Casino, a wretched hive of scum and villainy (and bros with popped collars) if there ever was one in Sin City. If I was more clever/ less lazy I'd try to write this post in some sort James Joycey-ish voice, but come on, let's be real here: the theming in the casino was not that deeply thought out, and I haven't ever actually read Ulysses. But here are the reasons that O'Shea's will be sorely missed now that's it's gone:
Wikipedia page reveals that with the low minimum bets came a price... after Caesars bought them out, the place had some of the worst odds in Las Vegas, particularly in Blackjack. But the odds of you beating the house were pretty slim anyway, so why not just enjoy the low prices that let you gamble for longer? Plus, I've always found the low stakes gamblers are the more interesting people to hang out with. I'd much rather hear stories about following The Dead in the 60's from a burnout who looks like Santa Claus than have to listen to some Eurotrash high roller talk about anything any day of the week.
-THAT OLD FEELIN': It wasn't actually as old as The Sahara or the pointlessly imploded Stardust, but O'Shea's had a rougher around the edges, scummier vibe than some of the slick new corporate resorts lining The Strip. I mean, the chips always seemed a bit dirty at the place, which is probably pretty gross, but somehow also felt more authentic. I'm not saying this scuzzy vibe is necessary in all of Las Vegas: but I am saying it is necesarry to exist somewhere in Las Vegas; sadly, it's becoming increasingly rare in Sin City.
O'Shea's was a trashy, alcohol-soaked crap-hole with a half-assed Irish theme filled with frat dudes with flipped collars, grizzled old timers, cigarette smoke, dirty chips, smelly carpets, and cheap buckets of beer. And now that it's gone, it turns out that I'll miss it terribly.