El Cortez in downtown Las Vegas welcomes 21 and over crowd to property

Published: Apr. 1, 2022 at 10:41 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Today a downtown Las Vegas staple is now a 21 and over property, for decades the El Cortez hotel and casino have accommodated families, but now they’re going back to being a gamblers house.

The historic El Cortez recently celebrated 80 years in downtown Las Vegas. A $25 million renovation finished with a big change, to transition the hotel and casino to those 21 years of age and older.

General Manager Adam Wiesberg has worked for the El Cortez for seven years. They are completely focused on gambling revenue.

“That’s our history and that’s our future. Gambling is more popular now more than ever and we’ve built our entire business around that,” Wiesberg said.

The new policy will be rolled out in two phases. The first phase starts April 1 with hotel guests. All reservations booked moving forward will have to be done with someone 21 and over. Everyone staying in the room will have to be 21 and over as well.

The second phase will be identification checks at all the entrances that will be implemented later this year.

Wiesberg said there’s just no advantage for kids on their property.

“For our business model it just makes sense to be 21 and over. Kids really just cause a challenge here unfortunately. We love kids, I’m a family man myself, this community has embraced kids and families which we think that’s excellent, but for El Cortez we just have nothing for them. So there’s not very many areas they can be without causing an issue you know surveillance is calling down you know we have kids near the slots or kids near the bar,” Wiesberg said.

Weisberg said this is a very property specific transition.

“If you have big shopping malls attached to your building and food courts and shows and pools and arcades and things like that it’s gonna make sense to have the families for all of the nongaming revenue they’re chasing. So it’s going to be a property by property bases,” Wiesberg said. He does think more downtown properties will follow this 21 and over model.

For now, this transition will cater to being an adult only venue.

Marc Sandall from Bakersfield, California visits downtown Las Vegas twice a year. He said hopefully this is a trend other casinos will implement.

“Hallelujah, sometimes when we’re in here and we want to have adult stuff, and do adult things and talk adult stuff it’s nice to have no kids around,” Sandall said.

Couple Yvette and Carlos Ortiz came to the El Cortez specifically for the coin slots. They said now that it is 21 and over, they can plan a getaway.

“I think old Las Vegas needs that additional attraction, it’s changing, its for the better,” Yvette Ortiz said.