Casino Nights

Detroit has three casinos and they are a favorite destination for Danny and my Mom. It makes for a nice evening although I occasionally get the feeling that I’m herding cats if certain slots “speak to them” in different areas.  I enjoy these trips because I like family time that everyone looks forward to. That said,  I have no personal interest in the casino. I hate gambling and it doesn’t tempt me at all.  When we go, I force myself to not be a complete killjoy.  This weekend was different.  For the first time ever I found something appealing at the casino.  Before I declare the gaming changer – here’s my review of the Detroit casino scene:

Greektown: Party central downtown.  Monroe street is lined with bars and restaurants. It is the de facto hangout for a late night in the city.  Strung lights connect both sides of the street year round, artists/musicians* liven the corridor and horse mounted police officers are not an unusual sight.  Greektown is so popular I will venture to guess is the only place in the city you will always see a police officer. I feel the need to add this is not a knock on the DPD, I’ve never witnessed a crime there nor have I heard about unique crime concerns. My point – it’s safe, there’s free parking – oh and there is a casino.

MotorCity: The Sound Board is a popular performance venue, I’ve been to a couple shows there and had a good time. Iridescence is a solid restaurant and once appeared in the short lived Detroit police drama, Detroit 1-8-7. There is also a sweet looking car on display and some nicely decorated halls. Admittedly, we haven’t been to the casino here in many years because it ranks third on our local list. Since MotorCity is located outside the traditional downtown/Midtown area* it feels removed. The casino owners and local billionaire family the Illitches plan to fix this problem by investing in five ‘neighborhoods’ surrounding the new Red Wings arena.

MGM Grand: Danny’s favorite casino.  Oddly located in the central business district surrounded by DTE, AT&T, the Federal Building and the Police Headquarters, MGM lacks a street nightlife; however, the indoor options keep getting better.  One of the only clubs I’ve ever been to is V nightclub – this was almost exactly 6 years ago and not my worst experience.  Prior to Starbucks opening a new location at Campus Martius, my go to for a downtown frappacino was MGM.* The slots can be rewarding or at least interesting.  There is a regular introduction of new machines including The Walking Dead and Ellen.  We celebrated Danny’s 30th at TAP and he continues to suggest it as a dining option.  Mom took us to Wolfgang Puck for our birthday – it’s overpriced but has great service.

The highlight is the newly opened Axis. It is shiny, chic and exactly what MGM needed to elevate its status in the casino industry.  Now the epicenter of the gaming floor, the lounge area is inviting and live music with a dance floor makes it an instant date-night/hangout option. As a non-gambler I would not have suggested going to the casino for a night on the town but now there is finally something that interests me.

MGM Grand Detroit Axis Lounge downtown
*Some of these people might also be homeless.
**Just barely.  It’s located in North Corktown and if the city wasn’t overwhelmed with freeways it would be walkable.
***Since the discovery of the Pure Evil latte my non-gambling casino trips have stopped. 

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