Everyone has had a bad hotel stay in Vegas. Maybe the room smelled or the water leaked or maybe there wasn't enough hot water for a shower. Some people consider a room with no view a bad experience, others get discouraged by NO room service. Tourist usually label these "dive hotels".
I choose to stay in dive hotels. Every trip i take I like to spend at least one or 2 nights in a dive hotel simply for the historic feel of Vegas. Don't get me wrong I would much rather spend my entire trip in the Bellagio with the pool view, but enjoy the nuances of a rusty, broke down, faded paint motel just steps from the Las Vegas Strip.
This will be an ongoing updated article on some of the hotels I've experienced.
Click "DIVE STAYS" in Categories for the latest.
In 1998 Stu Ungar was found dead in his hotel room across the street from what was to be his new employers casino The Stratosphere. Being the Vegas Historian I sometimes am I decided to check out the motel his oddly timed and slightly mysterious death took place at.
So as a first entry into my dive stays I visit OASIS MOTEL.
When I arrived at The Oasis Motel I found it to be all the "dive" I read it was. The building to the rear of the motel was recently torn down to make way for a soon to be something and the homeless were taking advantage of the lot being fenced off. I walked through the narrow parking lot empty of cars or people for that matter but there were some clothes hanging on a clothesline near the back of the motel on a small lawn with a picnic table. Then I felt someone following me so I turned and it was a Greek gentleman with his hands in his pockets asking if I was with some company, but before I figured out what he meant he said "Oh no of course your not your looking to rent a room". I answered I was just looking around perhaps for my next visit. Turns out he has tourist ask about the Stu Unger incident quite often. Then He informed me there was another unfortunate incident in 1999. An actor by the name of David Strickland had also died in his room only 4 months later, earning the motel a haunted label from locals.
I decided to stay but #6 wasn't available for 2 days so I put a deposit down and told him Id be back for my final night in Vegas and stay with the ghosts in room 6. I think I paid $40 or $50 and got a small receipt signed by the man insuring I'd get the infamous room 6.
The final day of my trip had come and I headed to the Oasis Motel. My friend was not there but a girl behind a cage in the front lobby appeared and asked if I was "the guy who wanted to stay in #6"? I indeed was so I got the keys and after a brief chat and snooping around their well fortified lobby I took the long narrow driveway path to the room.
Now the fun starts, I open the door to the darkest room Ive ever been in but quickly opened the heavy curtains to reveal a very clean but awkward shaped room with an immense King size bed and small tv stand holding a 29-32 inch old school tv. No big deal but I turned it on as soon as I found the remote laying on a nightstand. 4 channels and a couple adult pay per view ones as well. I got local news on one and continued my tour. It didn't last long and I was in the bathroom, a good sized room with a large standing shower and plenty of space. For a dive hotel the bathroom was pretty big. The closet made me laugh because of the lone hanger hanging in it. A wire hanger bent and still rocking back and forth from the breeze when I opened the door. So now all that was left was to set up shop and get ready for a final night on the town. I sat on the bed to unpack and realized the bed was completely plastic wrapped. I appreciated the motels effort to insure my bed bug safety but it made me a little nervous so I ordered a couple extra blankets. This was a cheap hotel no doubt about that but the kicker was when I looked out the front door at the view. Amazingly I stood feet from the strip, shadowed by the Stratosphere Tower.
All in all the place was fine I walked down to the Stratosphere played some cheap Black Jack, jumped a bus and headed mid strip and returned about 2 am. Then the most peculiar thing happened I woke up to a ringing phone, at what seemed to be the middle of the night. I heard the girls voice ask if I wanted the room an extra day? Frantic I looked at the alarm clock I set the night before and it read Noon, Then I looked at my airline ticket and I had a 10am flight. I missed my first flight ever leaving Vegas. I explained to the girl I overslept and missed my plane and she was cool with. She kind of laughed and said "yep that happens a lot in that room". I dont know if she was serious or not but I was too freaked out to laugh I just packed up my stuff and dropped my key with her on the way out. I wanted to keep it but then I wouldn't get my deposit back. I would stay again but only after I try others on my list.