Imperial Palace : The VegasTripping Review 2011
High Rolling At The Bargain Basement
While often maligned for crud in the corner cheepness, I'm here to offer a differing opinion on the Imperial Palace: gratitude.
Yes, I'm actually glad it exists.
Way back when, during days of personal destitution, the IP was my go-to joint in Vegas. Where else could one stay ON the strip in a relatively clean room at a price that made Vegas tripping possible? Other than the old San Remo, Casino Royale, Greek Isles, Boardwalk and the Imperial Palace... nowhere. A half dozen years later, here I am... Mr. Five Star Vegas Big Shot, dipping my velvet tootsies back into the swamp from whence I came. Oooh... it tingles, bubbles and fizzes in just the right spots. I just hope it doesn't leave a stain.
The point of this jaunt was a guys trip with my trusty BFF Rich, the man behind WinoTripping.com. We're in town to suss out the Vegas wino scene and keep everything - except booze - on the economical side. Imperial Palace fit the bill at the can't-be-beat rate of $29 smackers per night, plus tax, tags and no resort fee.
We arrived strip side at Imperial Palace and waited a God's honest 5 minutes to pull into their porte cochere due to the steady stream of pedestrians on the sidewalk. Should someone hire a crossing guard? After making our way beneath the bulbs - ogling the always impressive, uber funky signs' fontage - we hooked a coupla rights into the parking garage and rode the concrete rodeo until a suitable parking space was found. IP's parking garage contained no visible piles of puke or gunk. In fact the whole new(ish) parking pavilion slash walk way slash vestibule slash water massage spa thingy was quite pleasant and featured some shockingly well designed modern decor. I had no idea.
After a quick trudge through said vestibule, shopping promenade and casino floor we arrived at the front desk to see a rope line about 100+ people deep. Directly in front of us on line was a guy and his wife reading their Blackberries and chain smoking, directly next to a sign that said "No Smoking." Vegas baby! Seeing the length of this line and the shortness of our patience, Rich repaired to the Fat Tuesday iced booze stand for armaments. Without fail, and with brain freeze, the frustration vanished as the bender began (pro tip!)
Herein is the true beauty of Imperial Palace, should you wish to behold it. With a front desk queue 100 guests deep and only 3 agents working, they managed to plow through them all and get us out of there in 40 minutes, a clip of 2.5 guests per minute. We still waited - buzzed - for an agonizing term (2x as long as Circus Circus), but it could've been a helluva lot worse. Understaffed and probably underpaid, Imperial Palace has the best check in desk agents in all of Las Vegas. Not only will you not get a complimentary bottle of Fiji water served on a doily a la Wynn Tower Suites, you'll barely get a hello, please or thank you. These folks' sole reason for existence is to get you the hell away from them as quickly as possible, and that is absolutely fine with me.