as Vegas is my beat, and over the last
six years, I've stayed at the New York-New York Hotel & Casino
many times. As a veteran of this property, I thought I'd seen it
But on this latest trip, I stayed for the first time in a room
that presents a close-up view of the Manhattan Express Roller
Coaster, an amazing device with a track that winds in impossible
twists and turns through a veritable forest of skyscrapers.
I stood at the window for a New York-New York minute: no whoosh
of wind, no screams from riders penetrated. Satisfied no sounds
would disturb my sleep that night, I took myself to the box office
to pick up tickets to a comedy show.
And here's where I confirmed what I now like best about the
property, which is in its seventh year: Like most
6-going-on-7-year-olds, it's full of surprises.
There behind the counter, standing alongside the ticket agent,
was the star of the act, Rita Rudner, clad in a pink strapless
ballgown, joking with guests and offering someone advice on seating
Another thing about this hotel I like is that it doesn't take
itself too seriously.
Take the exterior: A 300-foot-long, 50-foot-high replica of the
Brooklyn Bridge leads visitors into a cluster of jewel-toned
skyscrapers modeled after some of New York's most famous buildings,
scaled down to one-third the size of their Big Apple
I was able to pick out the two most obvious, the Empire State
Building and the Chrysler Building, but beyond that I was hopeless.
Because I live but an hour from Manhattan, I made a vow to pay more
attention to the iron giants the next time I'm walking in their
Gazing out at all this, surveying the scene, is a 150-foot-tall
Statue of Liberty, complete with a water feature and fire
Inside the resort, a diorama of the Manhattan skyline at night
and an animated rendering of the New York subway system greets
And here's a real insider's tip: Even if they don't have to use
it, female visitors should duck into the Rockefeller Restroom to
examine the Murano crystal chandeliers and wall sconces, the
pedestal sinks with their ornamental faucets, the gilded mirror
frames, custom tile and silk flowers. They should also note the
tiled walls between stalls and the paintings of Mae West over the
Although I could have stayed and marveled at the bathroom's
decor a while longer -- how many times in my life will I ever be
able to say that about a public rest room? -- I wanted to get back
to my room.
It was a small suite that, over the course of my two-night stay,
suited my needs well.
The L-shaped layout included two queen-size beds; an armoire
that stored clothing and also housed one of the suite's two TV
sets; a small, round dining or conference table; a sofa and a
coffee table; a desk and yet another small entertainment center
with a TV.
There was a Jacuzzi tub tucked into the corner by the bathroom,
separated from the bedroom area by a low wall.
The property's art deco theme was repeated in the room decor,
through the light fixtures and jewel-tone accents.
The room had been refurbished, as had all of the 2,023 guest
rooms at the property, as part of a renovation project that began
But nice as these rooms are, they're not the main attraction for
guests. So I ventured out. My first stop was Nine Fine Irishmen, an
addition to the property that opened in early July.
Described as an authentic Irish pub -- it was built by Irish
craftsmen with Irish materials -- the venue is most impressive,
with rich-looking dark woods and ample seating throughout its two
It also offers outdoor patio seating that provides views of the
Brooklyn Bridge and the Strip.
The pub serves lunch and dinner daily, but I was surprised to
note that breakfast is available Fridays through Sundays starting
at 6 a.m.
Entertainment, such as music and storytelling, is part of the
pub's attraction, and, according to the property spokeswoman, it's
not unusual to see people dancing on the tables.
I didn't stay late enough to verify that fact. Instead, I
wandered around the casino.
I felt as though I were on the sidewalks of New York. The place
was packed, and to get anywhere I had to bob, weave and throw the
The 84,000-square-foot casino has many features that carry out
its New York theme, including the Park Avenue area of retail shops,
cashier cages decorated to resemble buildings in the Financial
District and a food court done up as a Greenwich Village
neighborhood, complete with sidewalk dining, fire escapes and an
old-fashioned, elevated subway platform.
There are even street grates throughout that blow air like those
in New York.
And, like the real city, the property is always changing.
"Zumanity," the much-anticipated Cirque du Soleil production,
opened in mid-August, while at the same time "Boo!", which
showcased performers from the Los Angeles Theatresports troupe,
The property also welcomed a Ben & Jerry's ice cream outlet
in June and is expanding both the Bar at Times Square and
Room key: New York-New York Hotel & Casino
Address: 3790 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, Nev.
Phone/Reservations: (800) 693-6763 or (702)
Rates: $69 to $249, guest rooms; $599 to $2,500,
No. of Rooms: 2,023
Noteworthy: Hotel check-in facility at McCarran
Airport; pedestrian bridge spanning Las Vegas Boulevard that
connects New York-New York to the MGM Grand.
Not Worthy: Needs better signage to direct newly
arrived guests to registration area.
To contact reporter Amy Baratta, send e-mail to [email protected] .
For more details on this article, see Sharp-witted comic perfect fit for