You may have noticed Ellis Island recently took down some signage to make way for some big renovations and additions to the family owned and run property. This seems like a good time to dive into a little history behind Ellis Island.
50 years ago Frank Ellis opened a small bar on Koval avenue named Village Pub, mainly a blue collar neighborhood bar from 1967 through the 70's and into the 80's. He then turned over daily operations to his son Gary in 1985.
Gary Ellis had the idea of re-branding the bar ELLIS ISLAND, adding slot machines the following year. Ellis Island was a local hot spot and in 1997 they doubled their gaming machines and added table games as part of a $12 million renovation.
Gary did one more thing to build the family name and keep the Village pub origins alive, he opened their own micro brewery. Today this brewery puts out 5 handcrafted beers a Root beer and seasonal specialties for themselves as well as The Village Pub's he relaunched a few years earlier. With eleven Pubs in all around the Vegas Valley and the popularity explosion at Ellis Island, needless to say the brewery is "hopping"............. no? Sorry.
Recently the Ellis family bought the Super 8 adjacent to the Casino and changed the name to Ellis Island Hotel. They are currently finishing up renovations to the 3 story property and I had a opportunity to stay there in Sept. ...
The rooms were fine and I was treated to what seemed a newly remodeled room on the third floor with a nice view. Im a one of those travelers who appreciates a great room with a great view and great amenities, on the other hand I also admire a great value and cleanliness in my hotel room. Ellis Island Hotel had exactly what I DID NOT expect it to have. A great deal on a nice room with an ok view. Don't take that the wrong way, I think they could ask for twice the rate they're getting especially with the pool (which looked inviting, just didn't have time) and such great deals on food and gaming.
Food options are one of the things making Ellis Island a local favorite. They have had a long running Steak Special that I enjoyed 2 times, they offer Metro Pizza and Julio's Taco stand for quality, quick bites. The BBQ Restaurant along with Village Pub and Cafe offer comfort foods in relaxing atmospheres. Don't forget to check your Player's Club rewards at the convenient players club kiosks. It seemed like I was getting something free or deeply discounted by the hour.
As far as gaming goes, 24 hour tables are available for Black Jack, Roulette and Craps as well as the "bubble" craps and. They have video poker at the bars with great pay tables and drinks were free while gambling, even if they weren't their Micro brews are only $2.25.
They have a William Hill Sports book which seemed to attract quite a crowd especially for early Horse Racing and College Football.
Ellis Island offers excellent value to both locals and visitors alike. Close to the Strip, a 10 minute walk will get you there. Inexpensive dining keeps locals returning daily, then staying for the great gaming they offer. Very cheap micro beers, brewed on premises keep entertainment seekers visiting and packing the lounge and bars.
All this adds up to a huge expansion for Ellis Island, The Front Yard will be the newest addition to the property. A two story venue resembling somewhat of beer garden on the main floor and great views for drinking and dining above. A scale model of the project is available for viewing in the center of the Casino, we have been told they are hoping on a New Years opening.
As a Vegas enthusiast, I look forward to the expansion and might book another stay during it's opening week. If not it is defiantly been added to an, ever growing, must do list every trip to Vegas.