benjamin eckstein downtown vegas

Benjamin Eckstein's Downtown Vegas

LAS VEGAS - ‘When you’re alone and life is making you lonely

You can always go


When you’ve got worries all the noise and the hurry

Seems to help I know


That song was probably WAY before most of you were born, actually 1965, but a YUGE hit at the time. And Petula Clark from England was the talent. If you wanna see and listen to Petula, check it out on YouTube...

Must warn you that it’s in black & white and kinda grainy.

Yea, DOWNTOWN. It means different things in different cities, but here in Vegas, it’s a WHOLE WORLD of CRAZY!

Most folks that come to Vegas do The Strip with the bigger hotels, and rarely get downtown. But trust me, DOWNTOWN should be on your radar. And here’s why.

You can ride a zipline that takes you screaming above Freemont Street. And when I say screaming, I mean SCREAMING. It’s called SlotZilla, and of course, you get shot out of a 77 foot tall slot machine!

There are a handful of wonderful old hotels like the Golden Nugget, the Plaza, the Golden Gate and the El Cortez.

There are a few spots that have been upgraded like the D, where you can touch the Blarney Stone. Rub it for good luck, but don’t kiss it. And the same guy that reinvented the D, Derek Stevens, just built Circa, which is basically NIRVANA for sports gamblers. Tell me Eck. It has the world’s LARGEST sportsbook, which stands three stories tall. The 78-million-pixel screen is also the largest screen in sportsbook history. Then, when the temps hit 105, like ALL this week, the Stadium Swim is ready for you to get your splash on. It’s a multi-tiered pool amphitheater with six pools and a 143-foot, 14-million-pixel screen bright enough for sports viewing during the day.

And if you don’t wanna bring the kids, Circa is also the first-ever adults-only, 21+ casino in Las Vegas history.

Can’t divulge too much, but if you wanna get adventurous, step inside Neonopolis. They have a piano bar, ‘Don’t Tell Mama,’ and the ‘Nerd Bar.’ The ‘Nerd’ has bowling lanes, an Iron Throne and a mechanical ride, but since this column is mostly PG, I can’t tell you what you’ll be riding. And it AIN’T a BULL!!!

This is just a tiny taste of MY Vegas, and we’ll be diving deep into all the DELICIOUS things you might have heard of, and many things you have NOT heard of. MAN, we’re gonna have FUN!

Benjamin Eckstein is a nationally syndicated sportswriter/oddsmaker. His column, America’s Line, with the Ecks & Bacon appetizer, has run in the New York Daily News and over 100 other papers since 1988. You can follow him online at He is beloved by most, when he picks winners, and detested by others, when he picks the occasional loser. If you wanna piece of Eck, hit his email...