This hotel has a confusing corporate lineage that I won't bore you with here, but the short version is this: after opening as South Coast the place was bought by Michael Gaughan, part of a famous Las Vegas casino family, and rebranded as South Point.
Originally conceived as a sister to locals' favorites like Orleans, Suncoast, and Gold Coast, the South Point continues to follow the successful locals' casino formula: lots of low-limit gambling, plenty of low-cost dining and entertainment options, and comfortable and relatively inexpensive accommodations.
When the hotel first opened I complained that it didn't have much of a personality. It felt bland and a bit impersonal, but it's amazing what a new owner and a new attitude can do for a place.
South Point is located on Las Vegas Boulevard South, more popularly known as The Strip, but not in the region most tourists consider when thinking of the destination. It's about six miles south of Mandalay Bay, right along Interstate 15 in a rapidly developing area of condos, apartment buildings, shopping complexes, and houses that was nothing but scrub brush a few years ago.
The overall scheme of the property is Southern California sunshine, all muted earth tones with white and gold accents. To be honest, this contributed to the bland complaint I had about the hotel but I guess every hotel can't be the The Cosmopolitan.
The main floor is given over to the casino of course - an 80,000-square-foot barn of a space that when it opened provided absolutely no intimacy. But a reorganization of the floor along with additions like a high-limit area and a lounge has broken up the sight lines so that I don't feel exposed like I did before, which is great because you don't want to feel exposed when you're feeling guilty about blowing the rent money or little Billy's college fund.
There are plenty of games on which to do just that - more than 2,200 slot machines with plenty of video poker, several dozen of the most popular table games, a race and sports book, a keno lounge, a poker room, and a giant bingo parlor on the second floor.
Ringing the room are the restaurants, bars, lounges, and a 400-seat showroom. In addition to Las Vegas' first Steak 'n Shake, they have all the other usual suspects covered including a big buffet, a steakhouse, an Italian joint, and a 24-hour café among others. An addition since Gaughan took over added another couple of restaurants and a bar on the second floor.
Also on that second level is the aforementioned bingo parlor plus a video game arcade, a 16-screen movie theater complex, and a 64-lane bowling alley. A second 60-lane bowling alley designed to host pro competitions opened in fall of 2014.
Other amenities include a very well-equipped work-out room (all the machines have their own TV screens), a nice spa offering all manner of massages and treatments, and a pool area with multiple places to splash around or lounge. They even have a sundry store that proclaims to have the lowest prices in town on packaged liquor, something worth noting if you are tired of paying twice the going rate for a six-pack at your hotel's sundry store.
But the centerpiece of the hotel and the thing that makes it different from pretty much everywhere else in town is the giant South Point Equestrian Center, a 4,400 seat arena for horsing around and other entertainment. It features a 250x125 foot show floor arena, 1,200 climate controlled horse stalls, room out back for 2,000 head of cattle, over 100,000-square-feet of meeting and convention space, a bar, and snack facilities.
It has become one of the premiere equestrian facilities in the country and you can regularly see guys with big hats and buckles wandering the halls. During the National Finals Rodeo held in Vegas at the Thomas and Mack arena in December it is pretty much impossible to get near the place much less find a room here.
Of note is the giant statue of legendary casino magnate Benny Binion astride a horse just outside the equestrian center. It was donated by Binion's daughter but was so big they had to cut holes in the walls to get it inside.
The 1350 guest rooms in a multi-winged 25-story tower are lovely, each around 500-square feet and completely packed with all of the conveniences you could possibly need including flat-panel televisions with movies and Internet access, separate high-speed and wireless Internet access, hair dryer, iron and board, coffee maker, and more. The beds are plushy, the furnishings are all simple and tasteful, and the towels in the moderately sized bathroom are soft.
Prices are a bargain on most days, not only for what you are getting but for the city as a whole. Rates during the week are as low as $40 a night and rarely exceed $100, while weekends are as low as $80 and rarely go over $120, although that's before you add on the $21 per night plus tax resort fee. Not the cheapest hotel in town but when you look at what it has to offer in terms of amenities and appointments those are great prices.
Service was extremely friendly everywhere I went, a nice change from when the hotel first opened and things were a bit too cold for my tastes. Looks like Mr. Gaughan focused on this when he took over the property and it shows.
As stated, I found the hotel boring when it first opened as South Coast, devoid of personality. These days South Point may not be the most exciting hotel in town, but it has found its niche and is doing a great job of making a statement beyond just its low cost and high value.