Day Trip to Gold Strike

I have passed the Gold Strike in Jean more than a few times.  It is a lonely casino in the middle of the desert. Jean, Nevada has a population of zero, unless you consider the women residing in the prison located across Las Vegas Blvd from Gold Strike to be residents.

Jean used to have two casinos.  The other was called Nevada Landing.  The casino closed in 2007 and was demolished in 2008 to make room for a planned community on 166 acres owned by MGM Resorts, who also owns Gold Strike.  A new casino resort would have also been built on the property to replace Gold Strike.  The crashing economy put those plans on hold indefinitely.

Gold Strike was built in either 1987 or 1990, depending on who you ask.  It seems even older than that.  As soon as I walked in I felt like I had gone back decades.  The casino shows a lot of wear and tear.  Even more noticeable, ticket in-ticket out technology has not found its way to Gold Strike.  All machines either operate on coins or hand pays.  This place is the graveyard for unwanted MGM Resorts video poker and slot machines.

The casino had a lot of good video poker machines.  These include Full Pay Deuces Wild and Full Pay Jacks or Better.  These are on old machines that are also slow.  There were also a number of very dated slot machines, ones that had sound effects that more resembled carnival games than slots.

While Gold Strike is owned by MGM Resorts it has its own player’s club.  Players earn .1% cash back while playing all video poker and slot machines.  Players also earn comps at an undisclosed rate.

Gold Strike offers five blackjack tables, one roulette table and a craps table.  Blackjack minimums were $3, but most games paid 6-5 on blackjack.  Roulette is double zero and craps is double odds.  Roulette and craps are only available during peak hours.  There is also a Dealer’s Angels video blackjack machine that has surrender, double anything, double after split and the dealer stays on all 17’s with a $1 minimum bet.

Gold Strike offers three restaurants.  Only one option was open when I was there.  The buffet is open 24/7.  It is $6.99 except between 4-10pm when it is $10.99.  I did not eat there and neither did anyone else when I was there.  The buffet was virtually empty every time I walked by it.  The steakhouse and snack bar were both closed during my visit as was an Asian restaurant not mentioned on their website.

The aura of Gold Strike was somewhat depressing, but there were some people in there having fun.  One very noticeable difference between Gold Strike and other casinos was the service.  The slot attendants were quick to come by when it was time to get paid.  They would also check on me while I played.  Drink service was exceptional and the waitresses were friendly.  I guess some of the old school service mentality is still present there.

Why Would Anyone Stop at Gold Strike?

Gold Strike is about 25 miles south of Mandalay Bay and about 20 miles south of the southern edge of the Las Vegas Valley.  It is also 13 miles north of Primm at the California/Nevada state line.  Gold Strike is the only place to eat, sleep or gamble in the 35 miles between the M Resort and Primm.  I would guess if you could not wait to do any of these then Gold Strike might right for you.

Maybe you want to go somewhere and hide or maybe gamble in secret.  Gold Strike might also be a good place to do that.  It is also a good casino for those that are into the nostalgia of playing old coin operated slot and video poker machines.

Gold Strike Hotel

Those looking for a cheap hotel room may also find Gold Strike to be a great value.  Rooms during the week are $40.  They go up to $50 on Fridays and $60 on Saturdays.  If you had a designated driver then it may not be a bad way to save a few dollars on expensive weekends in Las Vegas.  For example, the Electric Daisy Carnival runs between June 21st and 23rd.  The room rates in Jean are the same that weekend as any other, granted you will be about 40 miles away from the venue.

Gold Strike serves its purpose as an inexpensive rest area in the lonely desert south of Las Vegas.  It is popular for truck drivers and there is ample truck parking.  CDL holders receive a $10 discount each night at the hotel and other perks.  This alone has helped keep the doors open at Gold Strike, even though two-thirds of their hotel rooms were shuttered in 2011.

Gold Strike website

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