They were in the middle of a marketing blitz at the Stratosphere in March 2016 so I thought I’d walk down there and see if there’s anything to shout about. There is, but not as they intended.

Roxy’s Diner (above) looks good in the promotional photos, just my sort of place in fact. Unfortunately the hostess had gone missing and when she did come back she had a dreadful attitude. The burger I ordered wasn’t great either but the Brownie Sundae was to die for and I may well do so yet it was so huge. The server was good but it wasn’t exactly cheap at $30 for one person drinking just an iced tea (no refill offered).

I did intend to play poker for a while to test out the room but there was just one full table and no makings of another so I didn’t stop. By that time however I was already irate. I tried to sign up for the players club with my driving license but they turned me away. I had to produce my passport even though I wasn’t staying at the hotel. Why would a visitor be carrying their passport? That same document that doesn’t even have an address on it so they would require my license anyway. There was no budging them. Morons. So I left and didn’t spend the $1,000 that was burning a hole in my pocket.

Take back Vegas is the current marketing campaign at Stratosphere. It’s all about returning to old Vegas and getting value for money. What it actually is? Blatant hypocrisy. They highlight their admittedly modest room rates then add $23.51 resort fee. If they really wanted to take back Vegas the first thing they’d do is scrap the resort fee.

So, I’ll never be setting foot in the Stratosphere again. On my very long walk back to the Strip proper I did call in at Circus Circus to put things into perspective. It’s not in that league but the Strat remains what I thought it was – avoidable.

Written by Ian Foster