It's easy to overlook The Gold Coast. Although close to The Strip, it's not right on it and therefore not always top of mind. Plus, it isn't showy in the ways that its neighbors like The Palms and The Rio are. Instead it just plugs along, doing its job as the best value in the area and probably the best bet for budget-conscious Vegas visitors
For reference, The Gold Coast is located on Flamingo Road just west of The Strip and Interstate 15, right across the street from both The Rio and the Palms Resort. This puts it within spitting distance of The Strip although it's still quite a hike if you're out of shape or just plain lazy like me.
Rooms come in two varieties. The "Deluxe" rooms featured contemporary furnishings, a bed (or two), a flat screen TV with cable and pay-per-view movies, high-speed Internet, a hair dryer, iron and board, a coffee maker, and a bathroom with a walk-in shower (no tub). While not Bellagio level accommodations, they are nice and more than comfortable enough for the average Vegas visitor.
The "Premium" rooms cost a few bucks more but have newer, more modern furnishings, a bit more drawer space, and slightly upgraded bathrooms (these have tubs, but not the type you want to soak in for hours). The difference between the two rooms is most academic so I'd only upgrade if the cost differential was small. Although no one will confuse these for the digs at Wynn Las Vegas, they are several steps above the typical low-cost dormitories that are often attached to locals hotels.
The public areas are light and bright and the casino has a high ceiling, which gives it some much needed vertical space. Carpeting, furnishings, machines, and tables were all refreshed in 2013, although again here the changes were incremental - the overall vibe has remained the same, which is a good thing ultimately. Besides the standard slots, video poker, and table games in the casino you'll also find a keno lounge, a bingo parlor, and a sports book.
There are a bunch of restaurants including the very fine Ping Pang Pong, a showroom, lounges, and bars to keep you fed, entertained, and/or happy.
In addition they have a 70-lane bowling alley, a small but respectable pool area, and a workout facility (only for hotel guests).
So even before I get to the cost factor I'm impressed by the Gold Coast but when you throw in the fact that you can get weekday rates here as low as $34 and weekends as low as $79 I'm really impressed. Obviously those rates, like those at all Vegas hotels, vary dramatically so it may not be that low when you call but they're still most likely going to be substantially lower than any other major hotel-casino near it. The published rates also don't include the nightly resort fee of $17.99 but the good news is that it is also lower here than what you'll pay at nearby hotels ($15.99 per night) and it includes a free shuttle to The Strip.
If you want to be near The Strip but don't want to pay a fortune for the privilege, The Gold Coast should be at the top of your list when making your next Vegas vacation plans.