Sunday, February 9, 2014

Hacienda Update: The Last Picture Show. Plus: Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!

As previously reported, the Hacienda in Boulder City was acquired by slot-parlor operator Dotty's in December and ceased operating as the Hacienda at that time. Since then however I have noticed little outward evidence of the change. The big Hacienda sign is still luring visitors from the highway, all the Hacienda signage is still in place at the hotel, and the helicopter keeps circling Lake Mead for $29 a pop. On closer inspection, the north side of the hotel has been fenced off, so I suppose the exterior renovations will start at that end.

Inside it's a different story. The live gaming tables have all been removed and replaced with electronic equivalents. (Is there any sadder sight in a casino than an electronic Big 6 wheel?) The Dotty's booth on the north side of the casino is familiar to anyone who's ever been to one of  their ubiquitous slot joints; a vivacious bartender is on hand to pour you a drink or sell you some cheap packs of smokes. On the bright side, the bare-bones snack bar has been replaced by what actually looks like a rather nice coffee shop.

But then comes the sad news that the Lakeview Cinema, a Hacienda fixture that screened a mix of first-run features and classic films, is closing its doors after today. Last time I stayed there you had your choice of Casablanca or Shane, but those days are gone. They're going out with a double feature of Gone with the Wind and The Majestic. Oh, Dotty. Is their no end to your perfidy.

One Window Closes, Another Window Opens: In the wake of last week's news that City Life was folding comes the premiere of a new weekly, The Sunday. The first issue combines thoughtful reporting on teen sports with, in the best tabloid fashion, the gruesome murder of a dancer in the Luxor's "Fantasy" revue. But what's more of interest to us is: "$932 in coupons inside!" Free drinks! Two-for-one eats! Match play and bonus play and casino comps! Ladies and gentlemen, to the newsracks!

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