New York-New York in Las Vegas is to me a great example of a themed hotel that wouldn’t get built today, even though its kitsch and charm is a big part of what makes it so appealing.
As someone who worked in New York for years, I have so many inside jokes, little nuggets of things that this hotel brings to mind, that this will probably be a longer write-up than my normal travel pieces, but as I’ve also stayed here numerous times I have a lot to share about the property as well.
The Casino Floor
New York-New York’s casino floor is a decent size, placed in the center of things. Table games are lined in rows stretching out from the middle, where there’s a central bar.
The slots are plentiful and are a great mix of older and newer machines, as would be expected for a property this age, and the slot floor tends to keep up with newer machines while maintaining popular favorites. There are certain banks of ancient machines I’ve been able to count on continuing to find there, while also seeing newer games that I will pay anytime I see them.
They have a high limit area, but also a small number of higher denomination machines on the main floor. Some older quarter three-reel machines continue to maintain a presence along side the dominant penny machines.
Video Poker tables are standard for MGM Rewards, meaning not good. It hasn’t stopped me with noodling with video poker and getting comped drinks at the Times Square Bar now and again, but
New York-New York was one of the casinos that used to offer lower $5 minimums on games like Blackjack, but post pandemic that ship has sailed. Expect higher minimums and not great rules on the main floor nowadays.
The casino floor has some theming to evoke things like the old school Times Square marquees and neon lights. Unfortunately the modern Times Square is mostly giant TV screens and video, but I remember the more quaint era and this generates fond memories.
The Hotel Rooms
One of my biggest complaints about the property was the dated rooms. Nearly every room I’ve had there has had some round of small problems that just show the wear and tear of a hotel that’s due for renewal.
The rooms are finally getting a modern refresh that looks quite drastically different compared to what was there previously. They look great and offer an interesting dichotomy of modern room vs. the throwback vibe downstairs.
The hotel’s design is to mimic the New York skyline of old, so the building zig zags to allow for the shape to offer that sort of structure. It’s a facade that looks like a variety of different buildings, but it’s one big interconnected building in reality. This leads to some unusual shapes and layouts for some of the rooms. It also gave me a room with a wall being much of my view, perhaps the most authentic room at New York-New York I had (picture above).
One nice thing about the hotel layout is when you come down the elevators you’re basically dropped right into the casino floor. So you can get right into the action.
New York-New York is part of MGM Rewards, and all the pros and cons that go with it. This particular casino used to have a lot of slots that earned at a lower pace, a program that was discontinued at the time of the MGM Rewards relaunch, so that’s helpful.
Check out my separate post on MGM Rewards for specifics on the program.
I’ve eaten here quite a bit, and there’s a good balance of options. It’s a good mix of New York-focused foods and broader fare. For instance, you’ve got a Shake Shack, Nathan’s, Tom’s Urban, Gallagher’s Steakhouse and a good New York-style pizzeria on site, all great match-ups for the theme of the place.
There’s also America, which has a good menu and can satisfy everything from breakfast to a late night snack. It’s the closest thing to a New York diner that you’ll find at a strip casino.
But then you get off into other options like 48th and Crepe, which is quite affordable and has been one of my go-tos when I’m at that end of the strip. Nine Fine Irishmen brings an Irish pub style to the property as well, something not entirely out of place in New York.
It’s a good line-up, although devoid of things like a food court or buffet, although you can satisfy that at Excalibur next door if needed.
The show line-up has been refreshed relatively recently, with new Cirque du Soleil show Mad Apple and ventriloquist Terry Fator among those making their home here in recent times.
There’s an arcade upstairs, and a roller coaster that surrounds the building outside. For the latter, I’ve never personally rode it, but those I know who have said it’s rough and not the best. But it’s still the biggest coaster on the strip, so it’s worth checking out if you’re into that sort of thing.
There’s a Brooklyn Bridge and Statue of Liberty replica setup outside the property, and it’s adjacent to the park that separates it and Park MGM, so there’s a lot of nice walkable space around the building, with some nice views.
The shopping at this property is minimal, but there’s a few touristy options near the front of the building, an essentials cart by the Times Square bar and an essentials store as you’re heading towards the parking garage. There’s also a bit more shopping on the upper deck where the crosswalks from MGM Grand and Excalibur converge.
New York-New York is the first hotel I ever booked for myself when work sent me to Vegas; I paid way too much for too nights, not knowing how things worked. Since then I’ve stayed a few other times, and while I’ve diversified outside of the property today, for awhile I stayed there a couple of nights each trip for tradition sake.
For awhile I used to joke that it was ironic I’d leave the New York area to travel to Vegas, to stay at New York-New York. But I always had a great time there, even when I had a hooker trying to reel me in an hour after landing, past midnight Vegas time. I love the vibe of the casino floor and if they updated the rooms, I’d probably revive my regular stays there. But for those who need a mid-priced option it’s definitely one to consider.
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