South Point

Located south of the Strip, hence the name South Point, this hotel has tournament-caliber equestrian and bowling centers — and it’s a champion among bargain hunters with affordable rooms, a Steak ‘n Shake and a movie theater.

The vibe:

Off-the-beaten path, a horse lover’s dream, a penny pincher’s paradise

What we love:

Hey horse aficionados…you’ll be right at home in the South Point, which is known for its Equestrian Center. An arena with 4,600 seats and 1,200 climate-controlled horse stalls, perhaps the coolest thing about attending an event — ranging from every kind of rodeo competition to gun shows and hoops tournaments — is grabbing an ice cold beer from the Saturday Night Bar, which overlooks all the action.

There’s no better place to drop some pins than the South Point. Play a game in the 64-lane bowling center or if you’d rather watch professionals, check out the South Point Bowling Plaza. Opened in 2014, it has two 30-lane competition floors and a 360-seat viewing area, both of which provide the perfect backdrop for the USBC Open Championships and Women’s Championships.A

throwback restaurant, Michael’s Gourmet Room has a stained glass dome and plush red decor. Originally located in the bygone Barbary Coast, it’s been a Vegas icon for more than 20 years. Of course, having dinner here will be expensive (with a capital “E”), but one bite of the perfectly prepared and presented filet mignon and sirloin steak and you won’t give a damn.

Insider tips:

If you don’t have a car with you at the South Point, take advantage of the shuttles. The resort fee actually includes shuttle service to and from the airport (be sure to make reservations 24 hours in advance). For not too much moolah, you can also take a shuttle to and from the Town Square shopping center or the Strip (stops are at Excalibur, Aria and Treasure Island).

Whether you’re a cowboy or just one at heart, get a photo with the giant bronze statue of local gaming maverick Benny Binion on horseback. You’ll find it near the entry to the Equestrian Center. It’s a great tribute to the man who helped bring the National Finals Rodeo to Vegas and created the World Series of Poker.

If you’re an alley cat in search of some cheap action, take advantage of the graveyard special at the South Point’s bowling center. As long as you can stay up until the wee hours (that’s from midnight to 8 a.m. every Sunday through Thursday), you can play for $1.

East Coasters know all about Steak ‘n Shake’s classic “steakburgers.” The South Point is home to the only location in Las Vegas…so go find out what all the fuss is about.

Good to know:

We want to be clear about where the South Point is located. It’s not within walking distance to the Strip. It sits at the outlying southern end of Las Vegas Boulevard approximately five miles (that’s a 10-minute drive) from the Welcome to Fabulous to Las Vegas sign. The South Point is a great base if you want to be close to the action but not right in the middle of it. And if you plan to explore the greater Las Vegas valley, it’s near both Interstate 15 and 215.

Because there’s been no renovation since the hotel opened in late 2005 and its newest tower debuted in 2008, the standard rooms are a little worn. They also don’t come with fridges, but you will find they are spacious at 500 square feet and have other amenities (like Serta mattresses, coffeemakers, safes and 42-inch flat-screen TVs) that make a difference.

The South Point isn’t as huge as the megaresorts on the Strip, but you’ll still have to cover a fair distance (this includes crossing the casino floor) to get from the self-parking garage or the parking lot to the room elevators.

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