Located in an area dubbed the "Boulder Strip," Sam's Town Hotel & Gambling Hall brings together many facets of the Old West, making for a fun and memorable Las Vegas vacation. The resort is situated about 15 minutes from the Strip on the corner of Flamingo Road and Boulder Highway. Although you'll find more locals than cowboys around these parts, you'll definitely get a taste for the pioneering days of the past here.
In fact, one easy way to do that is by hunting up a hearty meal. Don't worry about grabbing a rifle and saddling up your trusty steed, the folks at Billy Bob's Steak House & Saloon have already tracked down the West's biggest and best steaks. You'll enjoy filling your belly with chicken, ribs, salmon and loads of fresh vegetables in the restaurant's lodge-like setting. If big portions are your thing, mosey on over to the Firelight Buffet. Meat eaters will love the open rotisseries and carving stations, and on Friday nights there's a seafood feast that includes snow crab legs. Willy and Jose's Cantina takes ordinary Mexican dishes and makes them extraordinary, while T.G.I. Friday's offers up casual eats, like juicy burgers and sizzling skillet meals. A food court -- featuring McDonald's, Sbarro and Panda Express -- is ready and waiting to feed the masses. Other quick eats at Sam's Town include Subway, Dunkin' Donuts and Calamity Jane's ice cream parlor.
Mystic Falls Park, located at the center of the resort, is a breathtaking, 25,000-square-foot atrium filled with trees, flowers, cobblestone paths, brooks and a waterfall. At night, you can catch the free "Sunset Stampede" show boasting lasers, lights, dancing fountains and music recorded by the Indianapolis Philharmonic Orchestra. For the holidays, the park is transformed into a scene straight out of a fairy tale. Animated displays of penguins and beavers are set up along with a towering poinsettia tree to pleasantly surprise visitors.
Days and evenings are chock full of entertainment. There is a 1,100-seat concert venue called Sam's Town Live, where you can see incredible concerts and participate in other special events, such as broadcasts of major sporting matchups. Over at Roxy's Lounge, live bands take the stage nightly. All the latest movies are shown at the 18-screen Century Theatres. Plus, there's a world-class, 56-lane bowling center that's open 24 hours a day with a pro shop, snack bar and video arcade.
All forms of gaming are available around the clock in the casino at Sam's Town as well. Slot and video poker machines are spread across three levels. There are numerous types of table games, an 11-table poker room, a spacious bingo room and a keno lounge. The sprawling race and sports book is home to 60 big viewing screens and the Sports Deli.
At Sam's Town, you don't have to be a cowboy to dress like one. Sheplers, a large western wear chain, is one unique store that is full of character. Famous brands like Wrangler, Levi's, Lucchese, Stetson and Tony Lama line the shelves and drape the hangers. For leather apparel, luggage and purses, stop by Bogart's Leather.
With 646 well-appointed rooms and suites, guests can immerse themselves in the splendor of the Southwest. Each one is designed with a hint of the Old West as well as all the necessary amenities to feel right at home while you're away from home.
Complete with a refreshing outdoor pool, shuttle service to the Strip and Downtown, Gatsby's Salon, an RV park and 30,000 square feet of meeting facilities, Sam's Town is a wonderful western-themed hotel packed with adventure for both the young and the young-at-heart.
-- By Renée LiButti