Rio celebrates milestone

Twenty years ago today, the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino opened its doors on West Flamingo Road, becoming the first Las Vegas casino to open in the 1990s.

The hotel opened with 430 suites, and in 1993, a 20-story expansion tower was added. The Rio now boasts two towers with 2,522 suites.

Voodoo Lounge at the Rio

Voodoo Lounge at the Rio

The hotel was a bit of a pioneer in the nightclub scene, opening Club Rio in 1995, the first big nightclub located inside a hotel – a trend many others followed. Today, the hotel boasts Voodoo Lounge, a nightclub located atop the resort with amazing views of the Las Vegas Strip.

The Rio underwent some cosmetic changes over the years. Masquerade Village, a hotel tower and casino expansion including the Masquerade Show in the Sky, opened in 1997.

One of the Rio’s big attractions has always been its buffet – The Carnival World Buffet was the first buffet in Las Vegas to have multiple live cooking stations and theme sections on the buffet line. The buffet features more than 300 dishes prepared daily.

During the past 20 years, the Rio was home to some of the city’s most memorable entertainment. Danny Gans headlined for four years at the Rio before leaving in 2000. The Rio’s Samba Theatre played host to the 30th Anniversary Special for the hit CBS game show “The Price Is Right”  in 2002 and in 2006 Prince thrilled standing-room only audiences in Club Rio. Penn & Teller and Chippendales entertain audiences at the resort today.

The Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino

The Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino

In honor of its milestone anniversary this month, the Rio is celebrating by giving  locals and tourists special offers from January 15th – February 4th, 2010. Some of the specials include:

 Show in the Sky: 2 Rides for $20

$20 manicures. Buy any service at full price; get the second service of equal or lesser value for $20.

iBar: 2 cocktails for $20 (Valid everyday for premium, well, beer, or house wine.)

Voodoo Steak: 20 percent off of any entrée

All American Bar & Grill: 20-cent wings

McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon: $20 open bar (Valid from 4pm – 6pm and 8pm – 10pm)

Rio Java: 20-cent drip coffee (Valid 1/15 only)


It’s not that warm in Minnesota. I know this from spending half my life freezing in the northern part of the state. So 20 years ago, I decided to thaw out and traded in scarves and mittens for tank tops and flip-flops (Take that, polar vortex!). I swapped snow for 300 days of sun a year. I may not have been born here, but there are hotels that haven’t lasted in Vegas as long as I have. The Sands, Hacienda, Aladdin, Desert Inn and the Stardust too. I've been to my fair share of implosion parties. (Yeah, that’s a thing.) As a writer for, I've applauded hundreds of shows, explored every major hotel in town and raised a few glasses at most of the city's bars and clubs. Now I'm the resident foodie here. I write about all things dining — from $3.99 shrimp cocktail at the Golden Gate to the finest sushi at Nobu, and everything in between.

There are 2 comments for this article
  1. Pingback: Penn & Teller are having a ball (& cup) exposing the secrets of magic. Or is their exposé simply an illusion? | Las Vegas Blogs
  2. Pat Cook at 1:06 am

    It’s interesting that Rio doesn’t get enough credit for demonstrating that a fancy buffet with good food could actually bring in customers. Rio had Las Vegas food at their buffet and charged double the price of most buffets but it was always packed. Good place to eat.