When most people think of Las Vegas the first things that come to mind are gambling, general debauchery, eating, and shopping. When I go to Vegas I will typically touch on each of those points, plus I will always try to get in some great roller coaster action. At the top of my list is the Manhattan Express [averagetraveller.com] at the New York New York Hotel and Casino. A very close second is the Desperado at Buffalo Bills [primmvalleyresorts.com] in Primm Nevada.
Primm is about a 45 minute drive from the Vegas Strip and is located right at the Nevada California border on the I15. Before changing its name to Primm in 1996 the town was simply named State Line. Currently Primm is home to a couple of Resort Casinos and the Las Vegas Fashion Outlet mall. If you don’t have a rental car you can catch a shuttle to outlet mall [fashionoutletlasvegas.com] and walk next door to Buffalo Bill’s to ride Desperado.
Desperado was one of the tallest coasters in the world when it was built and features a 225 foot, 80 mph drop into a dark tunnel. Despite the fact that I’ve done this drop 5 or 6 times, it always seems to last just a little longer than I expect it to every single time. Also be warned: if you like to scream on your coaster drops be prepared to have your entire mouth parched by the dry desert air!
In addition to having one of the biggest and baddest coasters around, Buffalo Bill’s has a pretty decent casino with nice low table minimums. I’ve managed to win money each time I’ve played there and the mix of players at the craps table is much more varied than you’d see on the strip at any one time. On my second to last trip I was disappointed that they only offered 2x odds on craps but they now have full 3x/4x/5x odds, giving the player an extra bit of edge against the house.
In addition to having some interesting players around the craps table, the dealers at Buffalo Bill’s can be an adventure. The first time that I played there they had a stickman who was so new to the game that he didn’t know the appropriate pay outs for prop bets. It got so bad that players would throw him chips on non-existent bets just to see how long it would take him to figure it out. We lovingly nicknamed that dealer “hard 9”.
This post was submitted to Travel Photo Thursday [budgetravelerssandbox.com], a weekly compilation of travel photos hosted by Budget Traveler’s Sandbox.
rollercoasters are not my friends….
One of the tallest coasters? Impressive! Wish I had the stomach for them.
I’d never expect to find roller coasters in Vegas.
They put a bunch of them up a few years ago when they were chasing family travel. Sadly, I think that only the two I`ve mentioned in this post are still running.
I’m not a gambler but I love rollercoasters. I would probably try it out if i was in the area.
If you love coasters be sure to try the Manhattan Express. It’s expensive but it has perfect pacing and a heartline roll and dive sequence that is unmatched on anything else I’ve ever been on.
Perfect timing since we’re going to Vegas tomorrow. I’ve passed by this coaster countless times and it always scares me. Not a rollercoaster fan here. Thanks for the tip on Buffalo Bills too. I’ve never gone in there either only because it’s near one of my favorite outlet malls =)
Well, there`s also a nice BBQ place at Bill`s if you get hungry from all the shopping!
Love the photo, story but, most of all the TITLE. Bravo!
Back when I live din Vegas (1995) it was still called Stateline and we drove out there to see Tim McGraw in concert and rode the Desperado – good times!!
Very interesting… But hat looks just to scary to me. I could only photograph it from down where you were!
I broke my nose on this roller coaster……The first drop caught me by total surprise…..Not sure what happened but, I was in the very last car and when the coaster hit the bottom of the hill it immediately whips back up another hill and during that change from falling to riding up a hill my arms became dislodged and my face slammed into the coaster car………It was not a pretty site pulling back into the station……Its definitely a narley drop but, there is nothing to keep your upper body stationary.