Challenge,  Fun Stuff

False Start On Buffet Book!

Really, Really False Start

Headed out to go to the Palace Station Hotel and Casino. It is an off-strip casino fairly close to downtown. We often go there because they have a great movie theater upstairs and for years I had been looking forward to trying their buffet. It seems that less than two weeks ago, the buffet closed down for good. They have some other great-looking restaurants, but no longer a buffet.

Well, that was a bummer. Never went by the place when there wasn’t a good line to get in. My sense is they couldn’t find enough employees to keep it going. That is a big problem here in Vegas these days.

So off I went to the RIO Hotel and Casino, an off-strip casino that was slowly getting rundown over the years, but they always advertised they had the largest buffet in all of Las Vegas.

You guessed it… Buffet shut down for good within the last month. Rumors are that the RIO might be torn down. World Series of Poker moved away from it and to the Strip this year.

So off I went up the street to the giant Palms Resort and Casino. It opened after the pandemic only about six months ago under new owners. Before the new owners, Kris and I had gone there for movies as well.

I was assaulted at the door by the thickest, sweet cleaning solution smell. Cloying would be an understatement, if cleaning solutions could be cloying.

And the deeper I got into the casino, the worse it got. It seemed they wiped down every surface of every machine and wall with that stuff. It was like a thick humidity, you could feel the smell.

No chance was I going to sit in that and try to eat. Or write. Zero chance. Could not imagine what the food would taste like, so I made a dash for the nearest door, and headed directly back home to wash my clothes and take a second shower of the day. And blow my nose almost bloody to get the smell out. Folks, unless you are nose dead, stay a long, long ways away from the Palms Resort and Casino.

So no writing today. One buffet impossible to eat in because of the smell, two shut down. This is going to be an interesting project, to say the least. (grin)


  • Vincent Zandri

    Gotta be a Twilight Zone-like story there Dean…No more buffets, no people, casinos being torn down, that horrible toxic smell (what the hell is it, and where does it comes from?), the having to shower and change clothing, maybe buring them, the nose bleed, the internet’s down, it’s 2 in the afternoon and your wife is still sleeping, no cell service…haha, you see where I’m going…

    • dwsmith

      Actually, right at this moment, there are three different casinos being torn down. One even had a buffet. (grin) But unlike normal places on the planet, that is normal here.

      The smell on the other hand, not so normal. 99% of all casinos go out of their way to kill all smells, including smoke smells. This is the first major casino in Vegas owned by a Native American Tribe. I would really like to see them make it, but with that smell, I don’t see how, and chances are they don’t even realize the problem.

  • Karen

    Yikes! That’s a real bummer. And just reading about that smell is sending me outside for a breath of fresh air.


  • Kate Pavelle

    Dean, you may be in a pickle with the buffet concept. Post-Covid, I haven’t seen any around Pittsburgh, not even in Asian places which used to be nicely loaded with everything from sushi to various hot dishes. I have seen a salad bar, but only one, and in a small town where nobody masked. In a Philadelphia hotel, where they used to have a great breakfast buffet, everything was from the menu. I think the buffets may. be gone, at least for a while. It might be a good idea to do a quick Google search and see if this is a trend throughout Las Vegas as well. Good luck!

    • dwsmith

      Oh, Kate, not a worry, there are still hundreds of them here, far, far more than I could ever managed to get to in a couple of years.